Do not sleep.
Sit by the open window overlooking the dark street;
Listen to the shadows crawling over cobblestone;
Wait for the distant train to strike midnight;
Think of the dreams in that unlit building
Across the way where strangers lie abed
Wanting rest, wanting love,
Wanting what was not had, what might come yet…
This is no time to sleep.
There is much to be considered,
There is much to be done.
Don’t think of it;
Be a witness.
Light a cigarette, and wait.
At any moment, the cat in yonder doorway,
The one who does not see you,
Will slide down the steps, along the street,
Moving like silk over a naked thigh,
Toward some secret destiny.
(Prague — 2001)