Cappelbaum Gives a Statement to the Police

The text is dead and buried
in a quagmire of words.
Cappelbaum sees this on the
faces of the cops that
take his statement and driver's
license to register his silent outrage.

The taller, uglier
one asks Cappelbaum something
about the years and time.
Cappelbaum's answer is wrong;
he pauses,
corrects his error apologetically.

The shorter, handsomer one
nods understandingly,
mouthing "semantics of sen
tences as the taller
one explains to Cappelbaum:
It's a free country; we all make our own beds.

Cappelbaum nods yes yes
yes officer—whose eyes run
over Cappelbaum's books:
Song of Myself, Great Gatsby,
Howl, and here
The Portage to San Cristóbal of A.H.

Cappelbaum wants to think that
he is talking to swine,
but the men in the heavy
boots have heard about Rush
die and Falwell and they have
nothing to add at all. Cappelbaum is as

phyxiated by the
cops' useless questions, watching
the short arm of the law
offer a hand (which he shakes.
Before a
nything can be done, nothing can be done.

Thinking about the evening
ahead of him and the
night, Cappelbaum thanks the cops,
and, as the door closes,
Cappelbaum hears the taller,
uglier one mutter «спасибо, пока.