I waited on the colonnade for a flicker on the dampened pavement--
drinking tea and feeling no flood
though the phantoms of yesterday had drowned in sunlight.
There were polite smiles, then, when the doors spun on their hinges.
A single bed, another lonely night, please
it’s all I have if you have it to give
say the fleeting faces, the future phantom people,
the ones who wipe their sleeves on their faces to keep them wet
and breathe their own gasoline fumes to keep them going.
I said, with words that aren’t real,
Whatever you need, poor inundated fool,
for the consciousness of life is higher than life
and you need a place to store that body of yours tonight.
Put your pen here, just sign your soul away;
you’ll get a lease for at least sixteen hours a day.
But, black umbrellas,
they’re the only things that bloom in January rain.
No one will see the waves goodbye if you’re rooming on the second floor.
But, here, you’re saying goodbye anyway
to walls that spin in those hours between now and now,
looming shadows that no one sees, not even you
and what would Ingsoc care, and what would the outside care?
Without the memory, without the fine print.
2 + 2 = 5,
and what can words do for us now--
“May I see your credit card?”