Sometimes a night out at a bar with friends, for a weekly quiz night, is not simply only that. Or ever will be.


“And you will believe in love and all that’s it’s supposed to be”. R. Wainwright

I mourn you everywhere.

You would think the whisky and smoke

could obscure what was best left alone, so long

before the permanence of

loss set in, was as easy as inhaling. We inhale death, tears form in our throats blackened and betrayed,

I mourn you, in

the cigarette

twirls, the nervous chubby fingers

pick at potatoes and lamb,

grinning at new faces

of earnest strangers,

but still this pub closes in,

I note…the MC’s accent is all wrong,

the music holds no rhythm,

just what’s her name’s whips and chains,

I do not know hold any solutions to the questions, a quiz

night to propel little but more questions,

and even my red lips, my come hither glances,

my wicked advances,

my ennui and restless knees that fidget a drumbeat of tremors,

desire for even his brown eyes are blanketed by dulled edges of memory,

throttled by despair.

Oh you would have had all the answers.

You would have won this round,

and the next,

and taken me safely back home to dream of prizes,

baby steps gushing pride,

growing a grasp on this tenuous life we bear.

I do not bear.

Oh you would have smiled your green eyed smile,

and nodded furiously at the right fact,

pulled out figures from your curls, and all that

information inane would have delighted us,

led me to knowledge, afloat, sans souci, tender and rare.

Oh you would have whispered advice,

and instantly guessed which love I

should keep, which hardened soul to discard, which charlatan to throw away,

taken my heart through reference

books sacred, nourished all that could have

grown weak,

grown raw and bare. You, who believed, beyond the cruelty

and decay,

you who believe in love and all that it’s supposed to be.

And I, alone and without a book of faith to guide me,

not even your fingers to turn pages, invisible,

not even your fingers to bake forgiveness,

to clean out the dusty corners of my bitter youth,

not even your songs to which we could pray.

You know mama, today they shot dead another lover

in falasteen. How you would have explained, quiet, all that hurt away.

Oh you would have also

giggled at the funny suggestions offered, and lit up

our memories with your literature,

explained math, physics, chemistry and patience,

the willful desire to live. To care.

I mourn you everywhere,

in the smoky bars of my womanhood,

in the hallways of the mind of children laughing,

in the pencil rubbed

out against white papers forgotten,

in dingy hotel lobbies, the sinful

sips of beer we were allowed, in the red car

winding through abandoned capitals, in the microphone

surprises of hidden secrets, in the euphoria of

testing ourselves against all the world can

contain of mystery,

the trivia of why we are all still haunted by love.

I mourn you everywhere,

for I am full of questions

which will never be uttered.

I am full of answers with no one to blame.


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