The wrought iron beard scratches his cheek.
He whispers, “It’s not been easy,
waiting out this exile.”
He grumbles something Greek
with his voice tapering off,
breath hot with Cognac.
Goddamm, Goddamm, so you have.
The hand reaches out to touch him, but these
symbols are embossed in his eyes:
a gate, a lion, an impenetrable phalanx.
So they sit, and finish their pipes in silence.
O, sweet cavendish.
Goddamm, Goddamm, your bitch teeth
are as sharp as ever.
He is lead inside by his soft arms,
to his room. He is put to bed with his shoes on.
Shutting the door, no one hears him mumble
his parting shot beneath wet coughs,
“Goddamm. Goddamm this wait.
I am done with it.”