The Wine-Drinkers

The wine-drinkers sit on the porte cochère in the sun. 
Their lack of success in love has made them torpid. 
They move their fans with a motion that stirs no feather, 
the glare of the sun has darkened their complexions.

Let us commend them on their conversations. 
One says "oh" and the other says "indeed."

The afternoon must be prolonged forever, because the night 
will be impossible for them.
They know that the bright and very delicate needles 
inserted beneath the surfaces of their skins 
will work after dark--at present are drugged, are dormant.

Nobody dares to make any sudden disturbance.

One says "no," the other one murmurs "why?"
The cousins pause: tumescent.
What do they dream of? Murder?
They dream of lust and they long for violent action
but none occurs.
Their quarrels perpetually die from a lack of momentum
The light is empty: the sun forestalls reflection.

From Collected Poems by Tennessee Williams, published by New Directions. Copyright © 2002 by the University of the South. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.