To Botho Strauss in Berlin

Michael Hulse

Your cool high-ceilinged life
is naked as a stage,

as if you’d taken an apartment where
the set-designer of your dreams

had recently moved out.
It is a theatre after the première,

filled up to emptiness with applause.
I think of God the Almighty after the ball,

sitting as you imagined him
on the palace steps, asleep in his slippers and topper.

Let there (he mumbles in his slumber,
dreamy and calmly afraid) be light.