Saturday Night in the Waning Days of San Francisco by Joe Clifford

(A Sonnet for My Ex-wife, Hadley)
The City burns slow pink electric—

liquor store signs, seething bug eyes, I

watch scamper white ghosts and paramedics

from my window to the street outside.

She’s asleep.  The white of her shoulder blurs

with the radiator steam as it rises.

She looks barely alive, against the flicker

of the pale sodium yellow lamplight

cast up from Sixth and Mission.  It’s months

before I’ll try to swing from a ceiling,

days before the arrest warrants come,

hours ahead of the sickness daylight brings.

Tonight’s just another dirty hotel room,

Far away from home, far away from you.


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