Dreamers Are Gluttons

C. Rohrbacher

We are the bedraggled, befuddled, joyless creatures

anemic with the hepatatic urge to take on dreams

before bodies blush with cold

and slowly dissolve into the blue 

themselves.  We turn the note

of tongue’s sugar into a glazed whisper

coat the ears of our dying

with a verveless, inebriated language none


understand.  I’m not ashamed to say it, the man

in the picture was beautiful: dark eyes, wavy hair, loose 

uniform on a solid frame, ramiform fingers 

knuckling the ball, 

cocksure and confident

that he had it, the it most men fear

never grasping - that sense of purpose - but, 

that was before the Yankees sent him to college, before 

the shoulder let loose of itself, 

before the dock accident, before 

his son could hide his disappointment.


Now it’s Pall Malls window-side, 

one eye on the threshold spying for the orderly, 

slow on order 

and slower on denying the dying anything, 

the other eye on the night sky 

looking for the rumor of his glorious past

which is like smelling ghost-shit in a hospital bed.

Darkness to light, hand to mouth, the simple motion

sustains him as he daydreams of the game, the cold

beer, the surfeit of admiration 

a son could share with a father for the perfect

strike, perfect meal, perfect piggy back.  

Defining sadness with synonyms

is the cruelest thing we have ever done.