ERN MALLEY AT THREE A.M.



I am nailed down to the bar with tequila shots,
in the gilt loneliness of the nightclub.
I’m marinating my liver in margaritas.
Below the diaphragm I am paté.

The dance music is like my mother’s
heartbeat in the womb.  Meanwhile you,
poor drowning soul, are drunk, deaf drunk,
hopelessly stone-cold dead drunk.

I never heard the builders come. Already
these walls have risen high around me.
I’m swimming across a threshold

and choking on a night full of stars.

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