In California today, winter
is so close you can smell
the snow that will never fall.
And in the glow of the encroaching dark
that suffuses equally well through clouds
and off smoke, directionless light
that stays, not out of love
for what it barely bathes,
but because as it very well
has always known, there is very soon
going to be nowhere to go. And I am
out of all of the people you know,
who you've never brought home,
to which we can readily refer,
in case of question
out of all those left
out in dark, out in cold,
who has felt it least?
I am the one.
Having had more warmth
bled out of me than whoever we're luckily
going to bring, pulled out of the crowd
to take a quick bow, and thermometer-check
for comparison, the result:
Thank you, sit down, a big hand,
cold as stone for you. I was numb
once, but I have long since learned
who the number one is.
Possibility exists of one better than me,
than even me, at even this - though we haven't seen
of me, or the first of him, or
Or her, most like.
Let me be most loathe, if you will
I will be.
I'll at least leave room,
in case you'd like to try. I'll wait
'til then, and see. I die
to be crowned with that wreath,
my friend. Having by then surpassed
all conceivable odds
any fix competition can pitch,
by God. From the pistol crack,
to the ribbon, the end. In the matter
I will be so crowned, the numbest.
I wait out
far out in the crowd,
even now in the cold.
The number one goes
out in all kinds of weather
just as long as the forecast is rain,
or in vain,
or otherwise. He neither waits,
nor strives to find his two.
feeling less than that? It could be