By Niall ONeill
Where nickel and glass mingle
in this bar where alcohol reigns,
behind the grid of your ten fingers,
poor fellow, you hide your pain.
A liqueur flames and gleams
in your glass and its heavy must
evokes an azure sea
that distant isles encrust.
But what do you care for the Antilles
their lianas and palm tree groves
where the redheads on the hills
fan themselves under the cloves?
Unlike the common drinkers
you lean heavily, elbows on bar,
among the flagons and clinkers
weighing only your despair.
And drunkeness alone can erase
definitively from your sight
this supple white body that the chaise
with its silk cushions makes bright,
this body you would make an engraving,
at once sadist and game
of your distress and your craving
with the point of a skean.