Wednesday, July 28, 2010

one night on pleasant street.


Barstool Lullaby

Under dim lights, in darkened corners,

they gather.

Slumped atop skeletons of stained oak,

faces find harbor in smoky gauze.

The man with a black ponytail

moves by rote: Nodding. Turning. Reaching.

A sweating bottle waits where a perfect circle spreads,

wet with commiseration.

Curses and dedications etched in wood

recall decades of how it began:

with a glance.

And ended:

with another.

There is the smell

of too many combined smells.

Twenty-one smokes and ten ounces from the well,

the girl with a scar for each of her eighteen years

fades into brick and mortar

behind the fourth booth to the left,

the one signed by

Hank Williams III:

Hellbilly, it says,

2001.

The hours grow old and wasted.

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