Before I drown in life
by Michelle Hartman



___________after T. S. Eliot

certain half-deserted streets
one-night cheap hotels
of insidious intent
men come and go
rubbing backs
on window-pane sheets
flicking tongues into possibilities
returning to soot
which falls from chimneys
where families abide

there will be time
to prepare a face
to create and murder
a hundred indecisions
evening, morning, afternoon
time for half truths to eyes
that fix you, pinned
wriggling

but I have known arms
perfume of sweat
smoothed by long fingers
I have wept and fasted
wept and prayed
was it worth
sniggers:
talk of you and me

after sunsets, novels
coffee cups
to say what I mean
a bit obtuse
almost ridiculous
but I grow old and
need just once
to live





Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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