Putting a Poet to Sleep

A poet sits with a jug full of wine –
cheap wine –
not the one which tastes like
cough syrup,
smells like nausea;
but the wine which
he’s certain
will slip him into tumbling oblivion
after he fails
to compose a poem.

He pours a glassful of wine
lights a cheap cigarette –
not the one which is formed of
sawdust,
and are losely packed;
But the one which
he’s certain
will fog his mind with thin, blue smoke,
after he fails
to rhyme or not rhyme.

He holds his pen in his right hand
takes a puff,
take another,
takes a sip,
takes another,
and then takes a puff
again.

Writes:

I have not seen her for days,
and ever since,
days have not seen me.

Stops.

He takes a puff,
downs the glass of wine,
pours another,
takes a puff,
again.

He looks at his little table –
pen,
papers,
a jug and a glass,
a pack full of cigarettes –
shuts his eyes and thanks providence
for the constant, reliable company.
The wine tastes bitter only for him;
the cigarettes burn out only for him.

He takes a puff again,
continues:

Her thoughts occupy my mind
like darkness in the night;
her voice to me is dear
like the chirp of a lonely bird
in a night sounding of crickets.

He looks at the grey clock –
it’s 2 in the night,
and there is nothing to eat.
He will go to bed hungry,
he thinks,
but not thirsty.

He finishes the content of the glass
in a single gulp,
fills another,
ashes the cigarette on the floor,
lights another.

He continues:

She is far away –
like a mirage,
she is untouched,
only felt and seen
from distance.

The poet feels satisfied.
After a good poem,
he thinks,
he can go to sleep.
There is nothing in the world
that can put him to sleep
like a good poem,
or the cushion of her breasts.

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