I come and go — the Demon tags along,
hanging around me like the air I breath;
each time I swallow he fills my burning lungs
with sinful cravings never satisfied.
Sometimes (for he knows my love of Art)
he visits in a seductive woman's form
and with the specious alibis of despair
inures my lips for squalid appetites.
Thereby he leads me out of God's regard,
spent and gasping — out to where the vast
barrens of Boredom stretch infinitely,
and here he hurls into my startled face
the open wounds, the rags they have soaked through,
and all Destruction's bloody bag of tricks!
Poem by Charles Baudelaire
Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2014