Smiling into the Darkness of a Winter’s Night by Stephen J. Golds

Smiling into the Darkness of a Winter’s Night

Cold outside 

sipping at a brandy slow, 

the heater on full.

Reading a book at 10:25 

in the p.m.

The telephone rings,

the nurse with the serotonin laugh, 

who was a baby 

when I graduated high school,

tells me breathlessly 

she’s finishing up her shift,

she misses me,

it’s going to snow, maybe…

She has a cake for me and 

she’s coming over. 

I put down the phone 

go back to my chair and 

my brandy and my book thinking 

can a night 

be any better than this?  

And hell, maybe it is true 

when the universe 

locks a door on you 

it always leaves a window open 

so you can climb onto the fire escape, 

drink and cigar in hand, 

look out over the city skyline, 

the stars and the lights 

illuminating everything like a picture from a book

you read as a child on a summer’s golden afternoon 

when you were immortal and 

full of so much piss and vinegar.