Inside These Blanch Yellow Walls

Andrew Lafleche


not quite nicotine stained
only the colour now faded
from when they were painted
forty years ago

atop worn tiled stairs
dotted with spilt red wine
i climb each night after dark
with my glass

maybe i should go to bed
at least the thought manifests
briefly, before pouring another
in my apartment

music turned low or off
to hear the wind outside strike
the drafty single pane windows
all four of them

lips chapped crusted purple
face worn like an old mitt
maybe i should slow down
or keep going

one month, two months
three months since she left
and each first i tell myself
time to shape up

it’s the ninth this morning
or the night of the eighth
depending how days are counted
thursday still

refill the cabernet glass
watch the legs spider down
in the translucent shadow
of a tear’s heartbeat

if only she could see me now
right? lose my shit tomorrow
today is no day to fall apart
begin again

that’s how progress is made
get to work, keep working
don’t stop till the job is done
the bottle is empty

continue with gin that is dry
junipers are less contemptuous
or so i was told once before
believe what anymore?

fall asleep cigarette in hand
wake up with a burn under lip
and a hole in the carpet

not for the deposit
the face i can’t shave
the litre and a half of wine
or the liquor

disappointed i woke at all

feeling worse than shame

survive the day and do it again

inside these blanch yellow walls



Andrew Lafleche is an award-winning poet and author of six books. His work uses a spoken style of language to blend social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language, and black comedy. Andrew enlisted in the Army in 2007 and received an honorable discharge in 2014. Visit for more information.