Love To watch old photographs of hers from when she was a baby a round-cheeked girl with large black eyes that were pure and curious a healthy stubbornness apparent between her brows an innocence in her smile that overwhelms you with a feeling of melting a woman now a woman that makes you proud makes you want to try a crooked smile, a bigger curve on one side of her mouth left dimple deeper than the right soft, pale thighs half-covered by your bed sheets the warmth of her ass in winter sleeping embraced by each other no such thing as sadness when she’s around you cannot fail anxiety— a plague that plagues others, you’re not worried at all sleeping embraced her small hand groping for yours in the dark her soft voice in a whisper saying my love your heart could as well be a frantic bird singing in the cage of your chest on the verge at times of proclaiming absolute happiness or immortality sharing the intimate darkness of each night as the sun comes up each time and goes down again as it will do until the final day they’ll dig that hole for a body detached by its soul or whatever they call this vessel in you that’s brimming over with this feeling. The mayhem of our youth Sure it had its appeal—- that time in life you were so unbelievably young you were almost legitimately insane—- and yes, looking back at all that degeneration was a thing to behold—- the nonchalant and mindless booze consumption and drug intake and the countless stumblings from whore house to whore house—- and all those girls even wilder than you on your wildest— naked, pale girls leaning over the plate on the nightstand to take a good line of Devils dandruff as their breasts dangled like firm but ripe fruits— Yes, the frenzied drug-fueled nights with the one on one fights that made you beat on your chest like a Gorilla after it was done or the group brawls in slumping bars under a shower of broken beer shards—- Yes, the dripping blood on faces of people you had never meet before that night and the knife threats the knife attacks the Molotov cocktails against riot police because you’d read Bakunin back then and because you were angry and willing to hurt people—- Yes, you were lucky to get out of that youth scathed but very much alive and truth be told and because the older you get the less you bullshit yourself, I never did have the stomach for all that and it never even came close to filling that black hole at the front of my heart that always remained and felt infinitely empty and there’s no more absolute nothingness than infinitely empty and no matter how many people I pushed into that hole the love attempts the literature the intoxication the anger the affection it made no difference—- But now, much older than then, I’ve stopped dropping things into that hole now I’ve learned to live with it. Now, sometimes I’ll look deep into that hole— and the deeper I look the more probable it becomes that it might not be so empty. Now, I am much older. The thought of that lost and misplaced youth sounds loud to my ears, it sullies my peace of mind. Now, I sit on my porch and drink the first cold beer in weeks because I promised myself I would on the first day the temperature would reach thirty degrees and I stare at the tree tops swinging with the warm summer breeze and notice the sound of a particular twig that sounds like a creaky door with each mild gust and I think of my thirty three days matured steaks marinating in my fridge the whole day now and even though I’m hungry I light a cigarette and wait until I’m famished and I look deep into that hole at the front of my bloated heart and realize I haven’t heard Edith Piaf in a long time.