it was the sound of men and women screaming
which made me glance at my watch

staring over an insignificant shoulder
into a supper club fire

the laughing tobacconist standing beside me
said what we were all thinking

that much salmon colored drapery
deserved to burn anyway

bull fighting broke out
on the dance floor

as i began to lament
my bartender’s overuse of grenadine

no longer dreading the closeness of elevator intimacy
the sheep flock for the stairs

sitting my glass down
during a cocktail napkin shortage
to water ring a pamphlet of places
even the hardest thugs
should drive faster through
from east los angeles and youngstown
onto sunny paterson, new jersey

to scribble a poem thanking you
for giving me
a permanent reason to drink

with a post script mentioning
patti smith finished writing banga
aboard the costa concordia
wearing terrible sandals
before it capsized
and began to ooze into
the mediterranean sea

we’re too punk to survive this, baby

i decide to stay put
and close my eyes

a blind woman sifting ether
wrapping my hands around yours
to see what you see

as you pencil sketch lines
for a cathedral
built to honor a blueprint heaven
that will never be

death is certain
why hurry