I read your poem and said aloud, "That's nice, man." But not to you or the empty house in which I stewed. Nor was I cajoling some great judge of poetry, the one we sometimes think hovers above us, his black robe's shadow more fearsome than all but the laser-beams that are his eyes.

Your last lines surprised me, and surprised I heard suddenly and strange my own words in my ears. "That's nice, man." Or: you got me, and, what's more, if that's my voice, then who the hell have I been all day, and all yesterday, and all far too long?