Tuesday, January 19, 2016

poem of the day 01.19.16

the dealer

9 p.m.
i sit in the bar
of del’s restaurant
third wheel
between calvin and this girl amanda
he wants her
i want her
but most likely
neither of us are gonna get her
saturday night feels forever
in the fresh autumn
behind bar glass
with an underage blonde
then she comes out of the kitchen
with an empty drink table
with her red hair and lip ring
the memory of her back tattoo
i wonder how long it’s been
at least since may
when i never showed up
at the bar she was working
portia and her boyfriend
portia leaving pittsburgh
but there she is in black and white del’s uniform
apron around her waist
giving the bartender drink orders
she sees me and smiles
she melts me
like she did those months back
through a summer of women
of holy saturday nights
of bars
i never stopped wondering
hey you, she says
like hey you means forever
calls me over
says, i was wondering what happened to you
i want to ask
about the boyfriend
about being back in pittsburgh
porita beats me to the punch
starts scrawling things on her order pad
tears it off
hands it to me
immaculate holy phone number
i want to hold up
to the light like a treasure
she says
we’re dealing on the side now
so…you know
winks and leaves with a tray full of beer
i look at the paper
1/8 costs this
1/4 costs that
can’t even read the last two numbers
of her digits
i stumble back to the bar
playing footsie she glances up
sadly and says
you look
like you’ve seen
a ghost.


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