Tuesday, February 15, 2011

peom of the day 02.15.11

bartender from a past life

daryl is just sitting there staring at us

curly hair down to his shoulders
eyes sunken and small


he looks like an animal under the dim lights

looks trapped in a cage

daryl watches as we put the shots to our lips
the ones that he ordered us without provocation

the ones we didn’t want
but are sure to thank him for anyway

daryl who used to pour
drafts and shots in this joint for years
until his registers started turning up short
and he disappeared

our bartender from a past life

back from siberia or new jersey

unshaven for what looks like weeks

his years of appreciation for our patronage
swirling in our glasses

we take it down and toast him
with the empties

go back to talking about whatever
people talk about

as another round of free shots arrive
only to be dumped
on the warped wood floor
after daryl groans
and drops his head on the bar.

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