Andrew Lafleche

not quite nicotine stained

only the colour now faded

from when they were painted

forty years ago 


atop worn tiled stairs 

dotted with spilt red wine

i climb each night after dark

with my glass


maybe i should go to bed

at least the thought manifests

briefly, before pouring another

in my apartment


music turned low or off

to hear the wind outside strike

the drafty single pane windows

all four of them


lips chapped crusted purple

face worn like an old mitt

maybe i should slow down

only i keep going


one month, two months

three months since she left

and each first i tell myself

time to shape up


it's the ninth this morning

or the night of the eighth

depending how days are counted

thursday still


refill the cabernet glass

watch the legs spider down

in the translucent shadow

of a tear's heartbeat


if only she could see me now

right? lose my shit tomorrow

today is no day to fall apart

begin again


that's how progress is made

get to work, keep working

don't stop till the job is done

the bottle is empty


continue with gin that is dry

junipers are less contemptuous

or so i was told once before

believe what anymore?


fall asleep cigarette in hand

wake up with a burn under lip

and a hole in the carpet



not for the deposit

the face i can't shave

the litre and a half of wine

or the liquor


disappointed i woke at all


feeling worse than shame


survive the day and do it again


inside these blanch yellow walls

Andrew Lafleche is an award-winning poet and author of six books. His work uses a spoken style of language to blend social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language, and black comedy. Andrew enlisted in the Army in 2007 and received an honorable discharge in 2014. Visit for more information. Books by the Author: No Diplomacy (2015) Shameless (2016) A Pardonable Offence (2017) Ashes (2017) One Hundred Little Victories (2018) On Writing (2018)