by Muriel Spark
“By night I watch a fitful tribe
Along the street advance and halt.
Time and again their limbs describe
A proud protracted somersault.
Blank-eyed beneath the lamp they steer
Compliant hips with hands of chalk.
I know them by their grief and hear
Convulsions tolling in their talk.
They come, contemptuous and fleet
In tartan jeans, in ochre tights,
To make overt their counterfeit
Drowsy exotic appetites.
They are asleep and cannot rest,
Dismayed in far delirium.
Elaborately they attest
The dreaded labours still to come…”