A MEMORY OF THE PLAYERS IN A MIRROR AT MIDNIGHT
~ by James Joyce
They mouth love’s language. Gnash
The thirteen teeth
Your lean jaw grins with. Lash
Your itch and qualing, nude greed of the flesh.
Love’s breath in you is stale, worded or sung,
As sour as cat’s breath,
Harsh of tongue.
This grey that stares
Lies not, stark skin and bone.
Leave greasy lips their kissing. None
Will choose her what you see to mouth upon.
Dire hunger holds his hour.
Pluck forth your heart, saltblood, a fruit of tears.
Pluck and devour!
The wonderful rhetoric of James Joyce in a perfect little fourteen-line Ibsen drama, from Pomes Pennyeach.