The Unknown This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

July 30, 2011
He had met the Unknown,
sitting in their usual chair,
in a bar that was as gloomy
as the misting dawn when he goes home.

He asked the Unknown
questions—if that is what they are—
To be answered directly, simply,
By night itself.

about why his dog ran away when he was nine,
about why his wife left,
about the future.

Questions no one dreams about
saying aloud and getting a tangible answer.

There was feathery kind of hope
in asking a stranger who could answer
based on first impressions,
but the Unknown arises, stern,
Its shadowed figure threaded with glassy veins—

“You ought to be ashamed!”
Said like a sinner in shallow water.

He seems to yawn
at this outburst of spilled drinks
and hazy fist fights—
An expected disappointment of accusations—
The kind of which belong in nightmares.

What has he done—
this dreamer of stars—
besides wanting to rub his eyes clear of sleep?

No need to voice this question
because there is no answer.

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