The Little Passion

Of those ideas in his head
Which found me always interested
Though they were seldom well digested —
I recollect one thing he said
After those hours of streets and streets
That spun around him like a wheel
He finally remarked: " I feel
As if I'd been a long time dead. "

Upon those stifling August nights
I know he used to walk the streets
Now diving into dark retreats —
Or following the lines of lights

Or following the lines of lights,
And knowing well to what they lead
To some inevitable cross
Whereon our souls are spread, and bleed.
And when he leaned across the bar
Twisting a hopeless cigarette
I noticed on his withered face
A smile which I cannot forget
A washed-out, unperceived disgrace.
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