If shame had a name,
or evil a form,
it would sound like my syllable
and move like my shape.
And if hope had a tune
or goodness a gait
I’d be tone-deaf
and limping from place to place.
If the grave were a pillow
I’d rest my head,
and seek a better world
among the dead.
But I live and I ache
and I err and I take
and I make pointless blunder and wretched mistake
time and again, feeling hollow and fake,
till I wish either my heart or the whole world would break—
There is a void that stretches like a promise
where no one knows my shadow or my name.