INSIDE THESE BLANCH YELLOW WALLS

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

disappointed

 

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 www.AJLafleche.com 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)

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