Sunday, April 23, 2006

Money for Coffee

Lo! swich a lucre is in this lusty game,
A mannes myrthe it wol turne unto grame

-- The Canon's Yeoman's Prologue

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie,
Lusting did I live and lusting died
And I laid me down discontent.

Whatever we have told each other
Turns, with the turning of the world, to lies;
Promises slide into habits, habits harden

Into days. God is surely great, but we no longer know
What we mean when we say he is good.

Howl at the moon, grief and rage,
Howl at the sun, it is always the same.
I want in my youth and I want in my age,
Curling and burning with grief and grame.

She wanted to borrow money for coffee.
It is lucky perhaps she doesn't know how little
I could refuse her. But morning runs into night

And night into morning, I go to my room
But my trousers hang in the upstairs bathroom,
Where I left them yesterday, when I went unto woman.

So up the stairs, and back down,
Questing in my wallet. What does coffee cost?
Better give her five. She gives me a brief hug,

Warm but distracted. The youth she has her eye on,
Long-limbed, good-humored, says a careless goodbye.

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