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The Middle of the Night: the Hands

Not for you, not for the likes of you I bore
My friends, yours, myself. Me?
Never! My trip’s a self-discovery
Which never ends
I’d have you know, and at the limit you’re
A change-point maybe and no more.
If I meet your demands
It’s that we met when I was meant to. See?
I pity those who fall into your hands.

Looks you have, godly; but your taste in clothes!
No sweat, I’d teach you far
Better in no time. Better behaviour,
Motives, ends? My,
You’d hardly care to be caught dead in those
Now, even you, if they were shoes.
It’s worth my life to stay.
Mind your own change. To hell with the decor.
Your time’s on your hands. I am on my way.

That’s mine alone, God be praised! It’s time to go
Before there’s little doubt
In my mind what your outside’s all about;
And the end’s near,
My track distinctly pointed out: what though
The signs may not read in tongues I know.
Porter. I’ve no change. You lose me. You hold out
Both hands, Save me! you outcry, disappear.

Save me, save I can’t what hugs the wrong address
By its own wish just now,
When ticking thoughts behind each wet-lipped vow
End in a deed
That makes a bare-faced lie of nakedness.
Explain: were we to live on less
Than nothing? Damn your hide,
I know what you’re up to. nicely know how
Your hands clench, head turns tautly to one side.

And would you answer what my thoughts demand
Were you here? Change the scene.
Strike it. There’s still time. There you may complain.
Yet you’ll end older,
Father judging before you quite understand.
There you are. Here. You are his hand;
You touch me on the shoulder.
Seared to the bone, I feed upon the pain.
This bed’s mine. Working hands read One. Another

One in the morning. Good God. Only One.
My change-point. At the bare
Thought of you, thought of you, just nightmare,
Ends ends ends ends
For the mere worse, and all comparison:
There are no likes of you and none
Whose love makes more demands.
Forgive me your injuries to me. Care.
God help us both if we are in his hands.

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