Drinking Shadows – A Poem by J H Martin


“How long
Have you been here?”


Days appear
Then disappear

Like the smoke rings
Drifting out from my lips

Hutongs and fireworks
Learning to write with a brush

Incense and temples
Climbing high mountain peaks

Funerals and care homes
My first whisky at twelve

“Forever… Perhaps”

I nod and I smile

Her laughter is as cold
As her fingers are pale

Who she is
Or what she is doing here
I have no idea

That black dress
And those high heels
Are far too expensive
For a cheap place like this

“No… I meant this country”
“Yes I know… A while”

“I guessed
You speak very well”
“Oh no no no…”

My words are cheap charms

As fake as her laughter
And her red fingernails

As drained as our shadows
On the bar’s wooden floor

“Can I get you another?”


I have always been here



© J H Martin

Drinking Shadows – Free Broadside Download