Collected Poems 16

Ministry for State Security

Slowly I became aware
That the corridor I found myself in
Had become a marble tomb
From which air was being removed.

Yet all the while tiny metal nameplates
At eye-level beside doors
Kept insisting that someone understanding
Was sitting inside waiting to listen.

After entering they trust lights on me
Insisting from behind
On names of persons unknown to me,
Blaring out places I had never been to
Until I awakened trembling,
Arose and staggered to my window
To blot out the full moon
By rasping curtains together
With one terror-stricken yank,
Silent cotton cymbal halves clashing.
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