elegy for speakeasy

they were speaking a language like the
wind with a lot of commas
a lot of commas and missing
spaces like the breathlessness of

it could be dance or it could
be the
brightness of a fountain in Barcelona
i would lie down in creosote
drink alkaline for this

we're alarmed at the blood
and what gold crown annoints it
we're sitting in the shadow of the statue of
heart and feeding peanuts
to the pigeons

creole of magnolias
their veins like the burled knuckles of old
men who play pianos
i have drunk from the spigot there and
pissed in the sink
where "fear' writ on the wall
was laughed at by whores
the gentle whores of New Orleans with
hummingbirds in their teeth

don't ascend the crooked stairwells
don't try the crooked balconies
that are plagued with riotous flowers
and sprigs of spitting from the wall
the debauched, exhausted

By Alex Ward

I live in an old house with squirrels in the attic