Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Hell's Gates

A large angry
tattoo on her arm
reads- Hell's Gates
Are Open-.

I finish my beer
Far better I think
How wide? I ask
nodding to the artwork
of letters in red and
yellow fire on her arm.

Wide enough
she tells me, do
you need another
beer?

Need is not
the word I'd
use but yes 
and I watch her 
pour until the

froth kisses
the top of
the glass.

Then she 
looks in her mirror
putting a comb
through dark
auburn
locks
the sun hits just right.
 
Sometimes I
think I come to the
bar for that alone.

tip her a twenty
and go home where
I can dream about
Hell and its guardians
with brown auburn hair.

than dreaming of those
with eyes languid with regret
and with souls long
out of reach or those with
knives under their pillows
I've found
myself far too
often sleeping
next to...
 
without gates
keeping me in
or out of the Hell
I know won't
be half as kind
even as it smiles me in.


Rp Verlaine lives in New York City. He has an MFA in creative writing from City College. He taught in New York Public schools for many years. His first volume of poetry- Damaged by Dames & Drinking was published in 2017 and another – Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers in 2018. A set of three e-books titled Lies From The Autobiography vol 1-3 were published from 2018 to 2020. His newest book, Imagined Indecencies, was published in February of 2022.