An Account

Tomas Unger

Those years as if an impossible director
showed the script to no one—

There was only the given line
to go on, to act. And then not even—

Count your paces, he’d say; this many
this way; that way, that many;

then stand still; go on
into stillness. In the famous scenes

expressing yearning, unspeakable
pity or fear, there was so little

in my head, so rarely was I conscious
of any feeling. Looking back, it seems

the mind knows as little as the body
what it acts out, all the dramas

of consciousness fixed so fully
in memory. There you are on some screen.

There was so little in me
in those years. So what is that

gaze taking in distances, this
contemplation recovering pain.

Tomas Unger is a writer whose work has appeared in The Threepenny Review and The Paris Review. He lives in Boston.
Originally published:
September 1, 2020

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