old grey-haired waitresses
in cafes at night
have given it up,
and as i walk down sidewalks of
light and look into windows
of nursing homes
I can see that it is no longer
with them.
I see people sitting on park benches
and i can see by the way they
sit and look
that it is gone.

I see people driving cars
and I see by the way
they drive their cars
that they neither love nor are
loved -
nor do they consider
sex. it is all forgotten
like an old movie.

I see people in department stores and
supermarkets
walking down aisles
buying things
and i can see by the way their clothing
fits them and by the way they walk
and by their faces and their eyes
that they care for nothing
and that nothing cares
for them.

I see a hundred people a day
who have given up
entirely.

if I go to the racetrack
or a sporting event
I can see thousands
that feel for nothing or
no one
and get no feeling
back.

everywhere I see those who
crave nothing but
food, shelter, and
clothing; they concentrate
on that,
dreamlessly

I do not understand why these people do not
vanish
I do not understand why these people do not
expire
why the clouds
do not murder them
or why the dogs
do not murder them
or why the flowers and the children
do not murder them,
I do not understand.

I suppose they are murdered
yet i can’t adjust to the
fact of them
because they are so many.

each day,
each night,
there are more of them
in the subways and
in the buildings and
in the parks

they feel no terror
at not loving
or at not
being loved

so many many many
of my fellow

creatures