„Greg glanced at Billy, as if to say, “Watch and learn.”
They tried not to talk about the disease. They went through Twin Peaks, they talked about the art scene, what Larry was showing next, how money was wrecking the East Village now, and whatever happened to that guy who used to walk a tightrope and piss, beautifully, in an arc, perfectly balanced, into the East River? No, he pissed on the floor down in that club on 48th Street. Should have been the river. Whatever happened to him? Every name they spoke dragged its own tiny silence after it.
Gone. Gone silent. Alive.
Arthur was positive for six years and he hadn’t a thing wrong with him, people wanted to touch him, he was so old now. Arthur remembered things no [one] else remembered. Who could keep at that? Who could hold on to it? His head was a museum. And when he died the museum would be empty. The museum would fall down.
Greg read nothing but the classics now, tender of his eyesight and of his time, he talked about Achilles’ dream of dead Patroclus, how the dead man would not touch him but only boss him about, when all Achilles wanted was to feel the guy in his arms. Why is that? That the dead have voices in our drreams but no density. It’s just this huge sense of themness, it is all meaning and no words. Because words are also physical, don’t you think? The way they touch you.
“Sometimes they do. Use words, I mean,” said Arthur. ‘My tree is all hibiscus.’ Someone said that to me, once.” No one asked who.
“It is a war,” Massimo said.
Greg said fuck that he never signed up for any damn war. He wanted a civilian’s death, he said. A personal death. He wanted a death he could call his own.
Massimo said Gabriel Torres was working out in the Y on West 23rd and the stir as he wiped down one machine and went to the next. Gabriel Torres was the most beautiful man you have ever seen.
“Where he gets the time?” said Arthur.
“You know,” said Greg, “Sometimes I think we’d all be better off with a woman in sensible shoes.”
Dan’s face, through all of this, was a thing of quiet attention. His pale skin soaked up the candlelight and he listened so well, it seemed the whole table was talking just for him. Greg lifted his glass and said, “Look at those cheekbones,” and Dan gave a smile.
“The poet. That Irish poet.”
“Yeats?” said Arthur.
On which, to everyone’s amazement and delight, Dan opened his mouth and a ream of poetry fell out. Line after line – it was like a scroll unfurling along the tabletop, a carpet unrolled. And each of us, as we heard it, realised where we were, and who was with us. We saw our shadows shifting on the back wall, the office cleaner across the way in trembling fluorescent tinged with green, the dark city brown in the sky.”

Anne Enright: The Green Road, London 2015, S. 46/47.