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.

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