At Dirty Dick’s and Sloppy Joe’s
we drank our liquor straight,
some went upstairs with Margery,
and some, alas, with Kate;
and two by two like cat and mouse
the homeless played at keeping house.
There Wealthy Meg, the Sailor’s Friend,
and Marion, cow-eyed,
opened their arms to me but I
refused to step inside;
I was not looking for a cage
in which to mope my old age.
The nightingales are sobbing in
the orchards of our mothers,
and hearts that we broke long ago
have long been breaking others;
tears are round, the sea is deep:
roll them overboard and sleep.
W.H. Auden, “SONG OF THE MASTER AND BOATSWAIN.”