52 Poems for 2013, 17/52: Resort #2

Here is the seventeenth poem in Douglas Thompson‘s 52-poem sequence (one a week) for 2013:


the hot breeze blowing from the sea
as we walked the streets
and you asked about my unhappiness
there were tears rolling from both our faces
my voice shaking
then you running away
to catch up with my best friend
who could never love you
and I went to a bar alone
to drown myself in alcohol
planning a beautiful suicide
looking forward to it
so close to the edge
no dread or sadness
only the promise of peace
at the end of all suffering

the tapping at the window
then the mattress taken to the other room
the drunken giggles
then the usual noises

walking the town until morning
I came at last to the shore
and watched an old man fishing
his face worn hard as leather by the sea
waiting for a catch which never comes
the blood sun rose up and his friends ridiculed him
a dwarf watched a couple making love in the sand
as a lone boat sailed into the burning light
and the white town around the bay shone clearly
a distant mist hovering beneath the Minoan peaks
an image of persistence in adversity, absurdity;
-I knew that old man was me.

(Read the author’s comments on the poem)

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Filed in Stories on April 22, 2013