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In Days Gone By

All befuddled as to why, why, why – still!
Even yet, and still, to feel so much, still, sensate
to the nth degree of awareness, acutely awake,
watching as the shaking hand of another
pours out whiskey, freely, a libation for or to pain,
I know not which.  What breath I might yet draw
is pulled in pure, exhaled as a fog  hiding a murky marsh,
a stinking miasma that hovers over a stagnant puddle.
There is no razor near as sharp, though some lanky,
sinewy barber having labored with a trusted strop, confident,.
skillful, his mouth pinched closed, the habit of a
lifetime of swiping, separating hair from follicle,
leaving behind a silky, smooth, stubble-free track
of skin – still such an instrument in such a hand performing with
ease the isolation of one whisker from its root –
yet, still, it cannot remove nor separate me from one single pang,
though I might beg. I would gladly concede the race,
but it seems pain is in no hurry, lingering where it chooses,
prolonging this absurd war I cannot remember declaring.
All that I drink serves only to confuse, but I will not stay
the hand that fills the glass. Befuddlement must substitute,
wait with me for an end that will come, but not before its time.


Still, and yet, I wish for all enough. . .