He must endure work, for writing such
As his won’t pay the bills. His stomach tight,
He forces through each day with dreams of night
Dancing like show girls just beyond his reach.
Then, when it's six o' clock, he feels cast out,
Unsure of what to do or whom to call
When anything he does is bound to fall
Away like pebbles from a bridge. He's sought
Escapes in alcohol, the fog of dope:
One led to rage, the other panic spells.
Without the fires from these familiar hells
He stumbles through the darkness, giving up
The hours like dying pets who've lost their voices.
He thinks he can remember having choices.
2001; originally printed in the Formalist.
Karen S. Nicholas