This poem is taken from Stand 222, 17(2) May - June 2019.

Stratford A. Kirby Five Poems
Baboon Blues

The baboon sits slumped
inside his comfortable cage, matted shoulders slung
low, leathery toes curled
around a crystal glass of absinthe. With an elastic pucker,
he sips the distillate of wormwood.
75% proof but it’s the thujone that truly sets him free.

He watches darkness move like doubt across the evening sky,
observing the protraction of silence and bone-deep melancholy.

The alcohol begins to inebriate,
warming the chill of his loneliness,
melting the ice of his isolation.

The hallucinogenic is sparking blue at the periphery of his prison.
Soon he’s pawing at the beauty of his electrifying vision.
With shaking foot he drops
the glass upon the golden straw, mesmerised
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