The American Friend

The road is cold, clear, knots of
Folk on side streets chat, wait

For the bus to a small room I will
Never enter, never see, though imagine

A few times in bewilderment at life
I will, I mean the life of them here

Who live surrounded by duress and
Therefore whose figures are more than

Right in front of my eyes, ordinary lives
So much so I simply can't see, I, a

Regular character in the papers, whose
Life has been neither difficult nor important.

And in my country is it different?
And would you feel that carapace too,

If you had this bitter pleasure
If you lived among but never with us? 

The East Village Poetry Web
Simon Schuchat