Tuesday, March 9, 2010


John was the man
who worked the cover charge
on the weekends
when the bands played
in the upstairs bar.
every now and then
he’d come outside
where I was checking IDs
and keeping out the drunks
and he’d smoke.
if he’d run out of cigarettes
I’d give him one
we’d stand around
and blow smoke at the night.
I liked John
because he’d take a drag
and then begin a story
with, ‘this one time,
I got drunk for a year
and lived inside a cardboard box,’
or ‘that was during the time of my life
when my girlfriend would sit around
and watch me grind pennies
on the pavement, until they fit
in the same slots as dimes
as the laundromat.’

it was clear that he’d lived a tough
goddamn life
and it was very nice
at the end of the night
to see him smile and leave
with his shift meal
and say, ‘so long, Jack. I’m goin’
home to smoke dope and eat ice cream.’

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