A Mysterious Naked Man by Alden Nowlan
on Cranston Avenue. The police are performing
the usual ceremonies with coloured lights and sirens.
Almost everyone is outdoors and strangers are conversing
as they do during disasters when their involvement is
‘What did he look like? ‘ the lieutenant is asking.
‘I don’t know, ‘ says the witness. ‘He was naked.’
There is talk of dogs-this is no ordinary case
of indecent exposure, the man has been seen
a dozen times since the milkman spotted him and now
the sky is turning purple and voices
carry a long way and the children
have gone a little crazy as they often do at dusk
and cars are arriving
from other sections of the city.
And the mysterious naked man
is kneeling behind a garbage can or lying on his belly
in somebody’s garden
or maybe even hiding in the branches of a tree,
where the wind from the harbour
whips at his naked body,
and by now he’s probably done
whatever it was he wanted to do
and wishes he could go to sleep
or take to the air like Superman.