156: after the reading

156: after the reading

after the reading
by Lucille Clifton

tired from being a poet
i throw myself onto
Howard Johnson’s bed
and long for home,
that sad mysterious country
where nobody notices
a word i say, nobody
thinks more of me or less
than they would think of any
chattering thing; mice
running toward the dark, leaves
rubbing against one another,
words tumbling together
up the long stair, home,
my own cheap lamp i can switch off
pretending i’m at peace there
in the dark. home. i sink at last into
the poet’s short and fitful sleep.

"after the reading" by Lucille Clifton, from THE COLLECTED POEMS OF LUCILLE CLIFTON, 1965-2010 by Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 2012 by Lucille Clifton. Used by permission of BOA Editions.

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