I sit at a table riddled with worm holes,
As manufactured as the chained and slashed
Surface on which I write, burn marks
Sealed in polyurethane gloss, all for
A borrowed twilight, an impermanence
Enshrined for eternity, or as near it
As artifice can come, fuzz-box guitar
Scratching through the conditioned air.
Outside, the latest mercury vapor lamps
Dressed up gassy, the rhythmic flicker
Punctuating the entrance, everywhere
Authenticity for sale, at a premium.
I examine my coffee, dubiously.
For all I know
I’m standing on someone’s
When the sun goes down
And you and I have long since left
The path will still be there
Is it possible to add anything
to a life, to ensure no alley
is left unexplored, no mystery
unexplained, no new device,
no diversion, no distraction
to hurry us along toward
the end of it all, the last
deceit, the final jest?
Shall we die wishing for one more
object, a last lunch, an unread memo?
Shall we panic at the end, unready,
as if no one had told us about this?
Venus in her arms
I look away