It is a suitable night for lost souls.
The Swiss Guard, clad head to toe in gold
Lead poets and painters into the smoky fold,
Of those who fear water, and drink only wine
The sociopolitical, the atheistic, we hedonists—
Barring infamous priests and the military
From this salon of incoherent arts.
The absinthe flows.
Wandering in from the dirty rain.
Shadow plays dance on dusky walls,
Beneath Byzantine iron gaslights—
Shadow flesh curls into its own peculiar heat,
While sleek black cats hiss in the mist
Under the skull of Louis the XIII as a child,
Presiding from his marble mantle to chide
The Prince of Wales, who arrived late.
Finding ourselves in the dark abandon.
The world we choose,
Fixed in these two rooms.
The life we choose,
Awaits beyond the tin piano,
The cabaret songs and the ghost of Rodolphe Salis.
We leave but shall always return,
To our home, our tribe.