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After Giorgio de Chirico

An ambassador.
He has no mind, no face.
He sits back in a daze.

Like a dog,
to anyone who commands him to do anything.
But with no mind.

No, he stoops lower than a dog.
He is not human anymore.
He wears a breastplate—
for every moment he is ready for a battle to lose.

People treat him like a toy,
a robot.
Yet there are no people.

Where he sits is not a city,
but it has walls.
It has no hope,
yet it has strength.
Perhaps the walls have hope, the ambassador thinks.

The walls could talk.
Or could they?
They talked to him.

He knows he is nothing.
He wants to give himself away.
Leave the curtain and chair, and enter the darkness beyond,
where he will have to suffer nothing.
But then the walls would be alone.

Does he already suffer nothing?
He is alive and not alive.
How does he think?
He is alive and not alive.

Like a tree
he stands still, not quite able to grasp the knife
that he could put to his breastplate
to ruin the mechanisms that hide there.
To be gone
from an awful world he is already gone from.

Emma Catherine Hoff
Emma Catherine Hoff, 8
Bronx, NY