Wise Poets – Louis Jenkins – In A Tavern

Louis Burke Jenkins (October 28, 1942 – December 21, 2019)

“It’s no use,” he says, “she’s left me.” This is after
several drinks. It’s as if he had said, “Van Gogh is
my favorite painter.” It’s a cheap print he has added
to his collection. He’s been waiting all evening to
show it to me. He doesn’t see it. To him it’s an
incredible landscape, empty, a desert. “My life is
empty.” He likes the simplicity. “My life is empty.
She won’t come back.” It is a landmark, like the
blue mountains in the distance that never change.
The crust of sand gives way with each step, tiny
lizards skitter out of the way …. Even after walking
all day there is no change in the horizon. “We’re
lost,” he says. “No,” I say, “let’s go on.” He says,
“You go on. Take my canteen. You’ve got a reason
to live.” “No,” I say, “we’re in this together and we’ll
both make it out of here.”

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