Audience of One


Mostly when driving alone late at night,
trailing ghost-red reflections like stirred embers
over rain-wet roads (or when having gone too early to bed)
but more and more even in full, placid company—
radio voice and false light fade, awareness troughs and crests,

as cardboard cars doppler-pass against my path,
others, remote, beacon behind and up ahead, flare...
perhaps those are solid heads floating there above the window sills.
Steely, dappled facades of office buildings turn, empty,
slowly... but it could just as well be transparent midday.

Yesterday, in the crowd, I don't remember a single face...
find no substance in any mirror... no one there
behind the dying phosphors, alive, on TV, in the photons
filtered and bent back from movie screen and magazine
pages. Media. Media. etc. etc. These I know best,

better even than you, lying here absent beside me now.
I have an aisle seat, awaiting deus ex machina,
but it seems Elvis has already left the building,
so too the actors, the audience—stage and house
both dark. I think there may be an exit over here somewhere.

Kevin Cornwall © All rights reserved.

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