Patry Francis
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On the Verge of Ruining My Life

I drink too much red wine,
drowning in its brilliant color,
and let the wrong men whisper to my blood,
their voices low and crooning.
Whole days pass when I accomplish nothing.
Over and over, I promise reform, then
find myself leaning over another blue drink
staring into dark eyes to see what develops.
The next day my head is a garishly lit room
where I wait for the hour
when I can collapse in shadows on the couch,
blind with self-recrimination.
But even there the forbidden stalks me…
Frank Sinatra singing Fly Me to the Moon,
a cat with a tail like a plume of smoke
tiptoeing over the piano keys,
his touch so light I’m not sure
if I heard the notes he scattered
or just imagined them.

patry francis