In the hours past midnight
they sleep with prayer crumbs speckled on lips,
and you alone, lean on your bourbon, writing elegies
on dark windowpanes with shuttered ears
as cobblestones in dark narrow streets
catch rain’s grievance in puddles lit.
They lurk in their own sleep-paralysis
while rats in corner bars gnaw spun memories
toasting a New Year refurbished.
This city sprawls on thin skin,
this city slurps remorse in straws rolled green,
dreams drool from its carnal pierced and jeweled chin.
Red poppies will again kiss
blades of fresh grass on highway’s edge,
and on a billboard, your name
once flicked like scream of insects on city’s shin
will hang loosely from a nail.
Under your eyelids, you will let them breathe
as they refill your veins with ink.