In a Kafka Tense
by Mark J. Mitchell

Everyone carries a room around inside him.
Franz Kafka , First Blue Ottavo Notebook, first entry

It’s a real house,
small, neat, blue,
resting on Alchemist’s Alley—
that’s a real street.

Small hands tend it—
never his own hands—
keeping sheets white
and putting pens away.

His eyes flick from
his white window
to a whiter page.
Nothing happens

On this real street
you’ve never seen,
in a real house
where he’s still dead.

Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.