I picture us on a long walk to nowhere.
You’re going on, I’m listing after too many drinks,
Pretending to follow your visions and wild talk.
There was time then, empty to fill with errors and dreams
Like the destiny you seemed bound to fulfill, or that night in the cemetery.
We were young then, but now I feel old, and you have simply disappeared.
The world judges first on disappearances.
Yet though our endless summer led nowhere
But back to that house, between two cemeteries
Where we toasted misspent youth with countless drinks,
I seek there every night in my exile’s dreams,
Refuge from the world’s dumb talk.
Ensconced on the back porch, haloed with smoke, we’d talk and talk
About the meaning of it, and how the sympathetic world disappeared
Two thousand years ago with the Greeks and their tragic dreams.
In our present the ideal could be found nowhere
But there, swirling in our diffused words, the night drinking
Our wasted hopes, every star a monument to our symmetry.
Did you ever find religion, Ken? Not your father’s cemetery
Beliefs, buried under hypocrisy, but the vision we talked
About? You would close your eyes and go silent, as if drinking
In the resonant music of some great abyssal Nowhere,
The void from which spring a prophet’s dreams.
It was always your dream
To rise above the concerns that fill the cemetery
Of a waking life. We never knew where to invest, but in talk,
Yet the profits of those facile wagers never disappeared,
At least from my heart. Of what now does your heart drink?
With a bottle between us, I would pace before your crazed eyes, enlivened by drink,
The kitchen or living room boundaries blurred in dream,
Our pasts and futures, condensed into an immemorial present, thus disappeared,
As we eulogized the sad graves of dead poets, and plotted our raid into Limbo’s cemetery.
Those drunken nights unending, dawn pushed into abeyance by talk,
Content with our boozy breath and shabby clothes to seek the better side of nowhere.
And so our talk was heavenbound, that is to say: nowhere.
Our last drink together was never enough, nor the waking dream
Clutched as dawn made disappear our shades between the cemeteries.