“question and answer”

he sat naked and drunk in a room of summer
night, running the blade of the knife
under his fingernails, smiling, thinking
of all the letters he had received
telling him that
the way he lived and wrote about
that–
it had kept them going when
all seemed
truly
hopeless.

putting the blade on the table, he
flicked it with a finger
and it whirled
in a flashing circle
under the light.

who the hell is going to save
me? he
thought.

as the knife stopped spinning
the answer came:
you’re going to have to
save yourself.

still smiling,
a: he lit a
cigarette
b: he poured
another
drink
c: gave the blade
another
spin.

–from The Last Night of the Earth Poems

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