Christmas Eve, 1983

a man sits on the floor
of his living room
the house is dark
save candle light
and the warm glow
of a crackling fire

decorations were put up
for this night alone

as a record plays
– her favourite one –
he pours some wine
two glasses
for a nice bordeaux

the man winks
his wife gets frisky
after drinks

she does not wink back
but she smiles
she always smiles

the floor is cold

it is a night of dancing
of talking and laughing
but most of all
of reminiscing
memories flow
and come to life
once more

a second bottle

reset the needle
on the record player

a third bottle

the man
sits on the floor again
he is drunk
and he cries

in the fireplace
only embers remain
the floor is getting cold
and the music stopped

he smiles at his wife
through tears of pain
and caresses her face

the picture frame glass
is cold and smudged
but she smiles back
she always smiles back

the man masturbates
as he looks at her face
through tears of hurt
and an aching heart
thinking of
the love they had and
the love they made

a fourth bottle

two handfuls of pills

the floor is cold
but the man
does not feel it
he lies and waits
for death to come

Death came

standing over the man
it feels the man’s pain,
sheds a tear, and whispers
“she wants you to wait”
Death shakes its head
“maybe next year,
sweet man”

a man sits on the floor
after cleaning the mess

empty bottles
and the vomit
he woke up in

he is putting all
the Christmas decorations
back in their box

the picture frame
with her face
goes on top
“until next year,
sweetheart”

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