Morphine

1 February 2014

All that’s in my head is in my head.
Try to notice Neptune, the poet said,

but there’s a mist outside, white on a white sky,
warm air across cold sea, turning the world invisible.

Morphine is a sister, is a saint.
In our blood and history they’ll trace the taint,

while all I see is the needle plunge,
or the golden-green, green-golden

draught in the eye-dropper
turning the world invisible.

Now a waitress brings the tables in.
I ask her for a napkin

and she comes across to the only customer
talking to himself and writing signs

like the moon and stars, the comet’s lines,
as if they could light up the gloom,

or the churning fret that hides the Seagull Room
and turns the world invisible.

I’m just the latest mad bastard to make her day.
But don’t worry, I’m not going to stay.

Yet all this dark matter is in my head,
and Howard, now you are forever dead,

and morphine’s still a sister and a saint
and an executioner. Too early for a cool carafe?
Let this eye-white fog then be your epitaph.

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