Taking an Oath

By | 4 March 2008

Who wouldn't admire
a man more discreet than opium

imported from Egypt,
how it always leaves a note

on the pillow where dreams
escape the sad woman

wandering like the ghost
of an insomniac with a torch

in her hand. The light
is softer than the solid claw

of night's bitter talk.
At least she can look

forward to a visit
from Hippocrates who says

'Melancholia is moist.
She must be dried'

so he offers red wine
and bleeds her vein.

Hippocrates takes an oath
and finally there is silence.

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