The Athlete

A poem by Alfred Lichtenstein

A man walked back and forth in his torn slippers
In the small room
He inhabited.
He thought about the events
About which he was informed by the evening paper.
And sadly yawned, the way only that man yawns
Who has read much that is strange -
And the thought suddenly overcame him,
Like a timid person who gets gooseflesh,
And the way the person who stuffs himself
Starts to burp,
Like a mother in labor:
The great yawn might perhaps be a sign,
A nod from fate,
To lie down to rest.
And the thought would not leave him.
And then he began to undress...
When he was stark naked, he lifted something.

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