Tableau with Rockets Redglare
At home with Wild Turkey, I hear
someone yell Piss yellow gypsy
cab colored moon! and, looking
out the window, notice
that it is orange and full
and competing for the sky
where the Pussycat's marquee
and then just failed light.
There are days meant for loss.
Others, for holding on.
Either way, I understand permanence
by placing things inside my mouth.
And, like the nickel on the needle
of the record player
or the Eldorado double-parked,
ticketed and towed, I feel
the usual rhythm of life
repeating. My ex-wife
sleeps with the television on,
says the flickering light
scares away the roaches.
We make love on Thursday
as though we are still married.
It is comforting and endless,
and afterwards we play 'Deluxe' Othello
and watch Down by Law with the volume
down. The Newton's Roach and Flea Powder
I sprinkle on the floor makes little difference;
week after week they return
to an understanding.
Linger for a moment and trust
your cigarette. Hasn't its ritual
kept you sacred, through cheap
wine and that tall brunette
down at the Dollar General?
--Forget what she says.
You won't live long enough to need
one of those terrible voice boxes.
Besides, isn't out of smokes
a kind of silence? When I tap
ash from the balcony on Royal
and Orleans I'm saying, I will
always be keen on young breasts.
You've probably said something similar
turning the cherry against the lip
of the curb, or in the bed
of a shell, or along the tongue
of your shoe. And you've said more
with less. I can see dark breath
rising as though you're looking
for answers. That slow exhale
portends the full scope of your live-to-ride.
I don't need need the tarot, or a bloody yolk,
or even Yeats to see your Hierophant
eating bad oysters with sticky fingers.