Cabaret Voltaire

by Alana Hollenbaugh

Literature is a new language with liquor on my lips his lectures are litanies to Plath, Lewis, and Longfellow.
Sitting beside the bar at the Cabaret Voltaire ignoring the dancers’ swirl

we debate the poetry of the dark downpour outside.​ He sees celebration: swirling puddles of snowdrop petals
illuminated by soft streetlights.​

I disagree, telling him
that it is morning-after rain—
trying to wash the dirt from the night still being lived.

It is muddied and lost: streaming frantically through the gutters.

Silence sits heavy in the separation between our thoughts
The band raps rhymes between us: thuds and beats to our meter.

We wander home through the streets, then
with entangled fingers. His alleys are paved with petrichor—
mine are drizzled in cheap beer.


This poem originally appeared in the Fall 2016 Issue. 

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