by Belinda Roddie
I heard all of the shouting and the noise
that came from the Grand Hotel on the west
side of the river, and saw a swarm of boys
gathering 'round the window where the guests
made wild rejection of the city's norms.
Society never was more ignored
for alcohol and gossip in the dorms
and tiny rooms where they preferred to board,
and cigarettes were pilfered from a stand,
while harder drugs were smuggled from the ships
that bobbed in the nearby water. Each man
overdosed just enough for all their lips
to turn blue as the sky when dawn encroached,
and then quiet at last would then approach.