Saturday, September 02, 2006

"Drinking Wine in Airport Barrooms" a poem by Helon Habila

"Drinking Wine in Airport Barrooms"
by Helon Habila

We settle on red, as if to
Rework memories of yesterday's kisses,
Lovers' bites, blood on our lips

We clink glasses – bells to rouse
Us to reality, for soon there will be
Goodbyes, levitations off runways

But we've done this before: rehearsed
Goodbyes with wine glasses, the tannin red
On our lips, every minute past an open wound.

Now we look at the barroom faces,
Hidden behind smoke veils – how anonymous they all seem.
To take our minds off our pain we
Play guessing games: who is real, who is a cheat
Like us, who has prior engagements, who has
Love surprised the night before and now
Must say goodbye…

See how we laugh loud, deceiving everyone,
Yet our eyes, still not conquered by wine,
Probes, seeks: does this moment mean anything, would
We recognise each other in another life…

But soon we will depart this barroom,
Escape our smoke cover. Soon dollars will be
Changed for pounds, passports submitted for scrutiny
And lips, red with pain of parting, pursed
For one final kiss.

poem found at
"His poems can be read on pages 114-118 of Sable LitMag issue 4. "

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