We met at a bar in Birmingham on a night
When booze baptized you
And the world lost its shape:
There’s a world in every bottle of beer
And you had twelve bottles before my arrival.
Twelve worlds in one head is death in disguise.
Satan’s kingdom has no throne for drunken martyrs.
You extended your hand
And said your name, Burner, or
Something that sounded like the name of a cigarette:
Those words escaped your lips like your cigarette smokes
As what your name meant at that moment;
You were birth and death.
You were everywhere, but nowhere.
I smiled, nodded, but didn’t say my name
Nor shake hands with you.
My eyes were two doves, you said.