Come back, in a few days.
                                                —William Empson


Not that it was needed that much, this much
was clear. A little cleverness would do
as well, a lei woven of servility
and something like affection. He would crawl through

the long days, dreaming of something else,
just to be near and not caught out.
A famished throng followed, always keeping
the same distance. What is it like to mend

and be shattered, weep and not know what you’re
laughing about? The mother’s tone was severe.