By the time you swear you’re his
Shivering and sighing,
And he swears his passion is
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
Or else our drunken tumble was
too true for daylight’s pleasure,
too much in vino veritas
troubled the gods of measure
who sent bright draughts of sunshine down
and sobered up my treasure.
All night rapacity had come
as naturally as breathing;
we nibbled on each other’s necks
like greedy babies teething.
How soon an empty bottle makes
one feel a blissful free thing.
“Aspirin, aspirin,” he implored;
I fed him several pills,
and when he wondered where he was
it gave me frightful chills,
but still I told him of the party’s
Words woke us up, reflection turned
affection to regret:
“After she left me I tried not
to do this, but I get
so lonely”… so I showed him out,
warbling “I’m glad we met.”
But now I crave the swift return
of scotch-transfigured nights,
like Chaplin, horrified by his
rich friend in City Lights
who only recognizes him
from liquor-gladdened heights,
sticking a tall glass in the man’s
upstanding hand (the clink
or worse awaits poor tramps like us
if scamps like you won’t think)
and meekly scolding, in a voice
weak with nostalgia, “Drink.”
Copyright © Persea Books 2010
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.