22 October, 2011

It Goes Without Saying

You're in a meeting
you'd rather not be in
and I am at the bar –
drinking dollar beer,
thinking about the bars
in college when
Thirsty Thursday meant
dime drafts all night.
My friends and I, we'd
each walk in with 2 or 3 bucks,
fill a table with plastic cups of
cheap warm beer,
and watch the frat boys
strike out, stumble out
to the sidewalk to puke,
leaving behind tables
of untouched beer. After
we were sure they were
gone, we'd drink their beer,
and my friends,
who were better with girls
than me, would try
and pick up the girls.
(Drunk sorority girls
will sometimes dumpster fuck
so they can later claim
to be culturally well rounded.)

Trading shots with
two local musicians
and a well-endowed
bartender four years older
than my daughter,
I think about
the night they raised
dime drafts
to a quarter, and how,
we felt like we'd been
robbed and drank anyway.

Somewhere around the third hour
you stopped by the bar
to pick up the car
and everyone was surprised
when you left me there
without giving me a hard time
or seeming to judge me at all
or even the casual
Don't get arrested”
comment that even
tolerant wives will tell
wayward husbands
who still insist
on keeping up
drink for drink
with the crusty old bastards
with the souls of fallen gods
even as the world outside
slips into another winter
from which
it may not return
and from which
we might not
have the will
to save it.