Maybe there is nothing wrong with
this contemporary loneliness: night after day
the house lights go off and the street lights go on,
the evening looks like cardboard.
Negative life begins to feel like an negative
held in the hands, held in both hands
as if it were truly a precious thing.
—Michael Burkard, from “The Man I Heard Of,” Fictions from the Self (W. W. Norton & Co., 1988)