I walk in the night of the suburban street,
Returning from the conference of experts like myself.
I return alone, now a poet, without expertise or engineering,
Human unto the sound of my solitary shoes in the beginning of the night.
In the distance the last shutters are pulled down into the last shop.
Ah, the sound of suppertime in happy homes!
I walk, and my ears peer into the homes.
My inherent exile comes alive in the darkness
Of the street which is my home, my being, and my blood.
To be a child from a well-off family,
With a nursemaid, a soft bed, and a child's slumber!
O my unprivileged heart!
My feeling of exclusion!
My bitter grief for being I!
Who made firewood out of my childhood crib?
Who made rags from the sheets I slept in as a boy?
Who tossed the lace from the shirt I wore when baptized
Into the house dust and fruit skins
Of the world's garbage cans?
Who sold me to fate?
Who exchanged me for what I am?
I've just spoken with precision in definite circumstances.
I made concrete points, like an adding machine.
I was accurate like a scale.
I told what I knew.