Charles Carville

The world could see his share of light was spent.
The hearts in his cafe were mostly warm,
but had to speak to make it evident
that flat affect, fastidious uniform

and wide enthusiasm were not normal:
a smirk wouldn't work. We were too intent on
knowing him enough to be less formal,
to joke and walk away as he went on

wanting the simple jag and random bent
of a smirk, the dull edge of a scowl—the storm
and stress of affect in any shape or form.
Sometimes he said too much, that's all we meant.

He, being an object—more seen than seeing,
felt strongly among us, couldn't help agreeing.