st james infirmry blues, re-mixed into a sonnet
i went on down to that saint james infirm’-
ry. quiet folk all watched with their numb yawns
hung black and wide like paper flowers ear-
ly in the morning mists, them fogs of dawn
and snowflakes drifting on the paper sills
their pains all icy fingers, sleeping pills
i saw my baby lying in the room
all sheets; my pretty baby taken to
the basement furnace fire where every low-
ing cow, and every screaming insect fold
their hand, and even lucky souls get tak-
en: chorus girls with roses, dukes unbreak-
ing. i thumbed down her carriage, climbed inside.
you’d best pour me some more of that hard rye.