Unmarried Men

The Gentlemen circle up, against themselves. They turn broad, uncommunicative backs to the pacing hyenas. It is dark, beyond the fountains, beyond the broad-leafed trees, beyond the soft and shifting glow of the unused pool.

They prowl their cage, room to empty room, drinks in hands, eyes clouded with too much smoke and earnestness. They wear paper hearts on paper sleeves; bleached by stage lighting, stained with cold cut oil, they have spoken only to each other for days and weeks. They speak of women in coded phrases: loyalty, they say, the most special girl, beautiful beyond speech, treasures piled on treasures.

Drunks, they are drunks, and snobbish about their drinking: too much, like too little, is bad. They like a little blood with their whiskey: red blood and oak casks.

Outside, hyenas and foxes, and miles and miles of empty earth.