Marie Howe


From the front seat of the Honda
       when I sometimes turned the radio off,

from under the reading lamp, once or twice I did look up.

While riding the stationary bike, within what I rented
and renovated I did hear . . .

(I had to pick up the girl and stop at the store)

but every once in a while
                                          pulling the hangers along the rack,

rising up on the escalators of NIKETOWN with its piped-in sound of sweat
and effort
or standing in the elevator alone.    Was it a shout?

I slumped in the chair watching The Sopranos.
                              An ocean far off?                Children screaming?

           I lay on the couch watching Six Feet Under.

Tell me – 
Perhaps a person is being held for questioning.

And no one knows where that person is
or what will be done to her, and no one will ever know.

Does it matter – do you think – how that person conducts herself?