An Inch of Jade

by on April 29, 2011 :: 0 comments

The blades
of the old fan groan
as they try in vain
to curtail
the curtained squat’s
seeping along
the damp filthy floor,
that the barmaid’s cleaning
with a mop that’s even dirtier.

I smile
and turn up the glow
of paper burning
between fingers;
tapping its ash
into the whir of the breeze,
which sends the flakes scuttling
across the bar’s sticky counter,
as this moment’s phantom strands
twirl around yellowed nails
and disappear into the air.

“A wise man will not value
a foot-long piece of jade,” they say,
“but he will an inch of time.”

I nod and watch it
stretch between the seconds,
before it melts in to the malt
filling my dry mouth.

The whisky’s roasted honey
balanced by a hint of oak
opens my chest as it slips down
and clears my mind
of all but the now,
in which I sit alone
sampling simple pleasures,
as the grey dusk turns to black
outside the stained and dusty window
brightening with the russet dawn too soon.

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