“One of Pessoa’s Ghosts” By William Taylor Jr.



One of Pessoa’s Ghosts

Under the kind and forgiving influence
of three glasses of cheap red wine

I haunt the city like
one of Pessoa’s ghosts,

adrift in the beauty and the terror
of an ordinary Tuesday afternoon.

At Vesuvio Cafe the tourists
drink and laugh at balcony tables.

I take my wine and sit among them,
the soft music of their faces,

my heart forever breaking a bit
for something I can never
quite name,

and it’s all I’ve ever
asked of the world.


About the Author: William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.  He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction. He is a five time Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. He edited Cockymoon: Selected Poems of Jack Micheline, published by Zeitgeist Press in 2017. From the Essential Handbook on Making it to the Next Whatever is his latest collection of poetry. 


More By William Taylor Jr.:

The Fire of Now


Image Credit: Eugène Atget “Petit Bacchus, 61, rue St. Louis en l’Ile” (1901) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

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