Methought I Saw My Late A-Soused Haint

by Mark Blaeuer

Chilled, cowering behind a serifed R
in this recurrent dream with a deep chute
beneath, I press a button to reboot
the Morphean and surface at Hack’s Bar
outside of Paradise. The avatar
of night lays hold: I’m blind and dissolute,
John Milton angering a leather-brute
with BELIAL tattooed across one scar.
I gravitate toward the piety
of volleyball
(a chanted phrase), pale wit
spiked over the front line: 11-3.
Aware now of some military bit—
La Marseillaise—I sing, reluctantly,
until Charles Baudelaire tells me to quit