Monday, June 8, 2009


when I saw him around town
he always had on
a different coat
it could have been
an hour
or a month
since I’d seen him last
but every time
it was a different coat
and nice ones too
well, my kinda nice
yard sale specials
or ancient hand me downs
or red tags at the thrift store
fifty or seventy – five percent off
the coats that really count
the old beat up coats
who have already lived out
most of their lives
the ones that already have
their own personalities
and fears and grudges
coats you really have to fight
to make your own.
one day I was sitting at a table
out front of the local coffee shop
I was smoking a cigarette
and drinking a cup of coffee
heavy on the cream
and heavier on the sugar
(I always had a heavy hand)
he walked up to me and said,
“hey, man.”
I looked at him for a moment
and then at his coat.
“that’s my fucking coat,” I shouted.
it was this brown leather bomber jacket
with a fake fur collar
“no it ain’t,” he said, very seriously
“yes it fucking is! that’s my goddamn coat!”
“no it’s not, man.”
“where’d you get it?”
“it doesn’t matter where I got it
because it’s not yours.”
“like hell it isn’t!”
I jumped up
and tackled him to the ground
and got him in a good arm bar
with his face pushed
into the dirty brick sidewalk
then with one hand
I pulled back his collar
and looked at the label
“oh,” I snorted, loosening his arm.
“you’re right. Mine didn’t have a tag.”
he got to his feet
and brushed himself off and said,
“all right, you owe me a coffee for that one.”
“okay,” I laughed. “I guess I do.”

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