... . . well, they had brought him home it seemed,
Since he awoke in bed--oh, damn the business!
He had not wanted it--the silly jokes,
"One last, great night of freedom ere you're married!"
"You'll get no fun then!" "H-ssh, don't tell that story,
He'll have a wife soon!"--God! the sitting down
To drink till you were sodden! . . .
Like great light
She came into his thoughts. That was the worst.
To wallow in the mud like this because
His friends were fools. He was not fit to touch,
To see, oh far, far off, that silver place
Where God stood manifest to man in her. . . .
Fouling himself. . . . One thing he brought to her,
At least. He had been clean; had taken it
A kind of point of honor from the first.
Others might wallow but he didn't care
For those things. . . .
Suddenly his vision cleared.
And something seemed to grow within his mind.
Something was wrong--the color of the wall--
The queer shape of the bedposts--everything
Was changed, somehow . . . his room. Was this his room?
. . . He turned his head--and saw beside him there
The sagging body's slope, the paint-smeared face,
And the loose, open mouth, lax and awry,
The breasts, the bleached and brittle hair ...