Friday, June 17, 2011

Never Go Back

In the bar where the living dead drink all day
and a jukebox reminisces in a cracked voice
there is nothing to say.  You talk for hours
in agreed motifs, anecdotes shuffled and dealt
from a well-thumbed pack, snapshots.  The smoky mirrors
flatter;  your ghost buys a round for the parched,
old faces of the past.  Never return
to the space where you left time pining till it died.

Outside, the streets tear litter in their thin hands,
a tired wind whistles through the blackened stumps of houses
at a limping dog.  God, this is an awful place
says the friend, the alcoholic, whose head is a negative
of itself.  You listen and nod, bereaved.  Baby,
what you owe to this place is unpayable
in the only currency you have.  So drink up.  Shut up,
then get them in again.  Again.  And never go back.

Carol Ann Duffy

No comments:

Blog Archive