Consider the moon, my friend,
how its absence conjures this unromantic air.
Here in the bar, smoke unwinds
like bolts of slow lightning across the gauzy light;
everywhere you look
mouths, small dark graves, chew on drinks.
Now the music gropes its way
through the crowd looking for phone numbers, drags
itself onto the wooden dance floor.
This is no night for finding brides.
You try. But touching
her arm you spring the classic recoil. Her owl eyes twitch like nerves,
the head cocks bird-like,
the spindly, bandage-wrapped arm
from your touch – then the scream
& her turning
to another man’s arms.
These damn castles are cold.
Some nights, alone again, arms outstretched on the stairs,
you think you might prefer
the murderous torches. Anything to light you up.