Direct from the murky depths of subconscious:

This isn’t Verona
It’s still dark outside, in case
you hadn’t realised, and
that rain I always write about, well,
it’s still coming down, and all of
the pessimists and the optimists alike, we’re
all of us
getting soaked in it.
It’s cold and it stings, and
we’re not in Florida.
There’s a long fight ahead, between
here and daybreak.  Stumbling blindly
in this clumsy parody of tragic romance, we
overturn tables, scattering
the pages of manuscripts blizzarding
into hopeless confusion, toppling
all those playing-card houses, those
vials of laudanum, that vase of
wilting roses from
the Old Columbia Road.
Raised fists smash furniture to
matchsticks.  Raised tempers
set the whole lot ablaze.
This isn’t Verona,
and I’m getting too old for this.
We’re neither of us teenagers any more.
Keats and Shelley were dead before thirty,
and, anyway, I never liked their style.
This isn’t the Chelsea Hotel.
Sid and Nancy,
dead before we were born,
even they were younger then than we are.
Always will be now.
This self-destructiveness feels
self-indulgent.  Did I
kick the wrong habit?  Was I safer laid up
with the Soldier’s Disease than
back on the frontline?  History shows
this inclination toward romantic tragedy
can kill you, more ways
than one.
Are we done yet with trashing the place?  Do we
still have to crash around more?  Thrashing and shaking
and bloated on each other’s pain, you’d think we’d be glad of the chance
to quit wrecking a while.  But even
I’m sorry.
I can’t let myself
fall asleep
in your arms just now.
You know why.
This isn’t Verona.

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