Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PARIAH, by DAVID IGNATOW

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THE PARIAH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The pariah / in the beginning
Last Line: In his thoughts
Subject(s): Relationships

Murder is one and loving is another,
not thinking, passing just to know
at the end of day that we are still breathing
and can get a smile out of the elevator man,
testing our wit on his passivity.

He takes us down from the hard acts
we have performed. He carries us back
to the ground, where we have something
to step on that does not complain.

We are leaving behind the dead
and heading for new beginnings,
for old endings. The victim is known.

Here I am and there you look at me
as if I had been the one to kill you
and I have not yet told you what
I think. It's when the dead
come to life again that I leave.
I dread returning.

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