The Bartender Told me (2)A Poem by Narnie
I don't know whether anyone will remember the first one ('my daddy shot a black man from a telegraph pole')... but this is the second and is also a true story.
He’d seen The Guy before -
been around a long while back,
tall, straight looking, twitch of a smile,
came in a couple after 7
every night and every night,
whisky after whisky (,after whisky after whisky,)
til the bar was wiped clean
and he walked out cold sober, again,
for one more day he didn’t die.
The Girl was pretty,
he’d not seen her before,
small, shy looking, a gentle smile,
came in with The Guy,
who ordered a coke,
she ordered a beer, inhaled,
corrected herself and
The Guy uncorrected her,
confirmed the beer.
They sat ~
the table tilted
as his knees
on the varnished oak.
and she wondered if he’d stoop down and lick the table clean,
a lizard tongue snapping out, a slow motion slide to lap it up,
whipped back with a smack of his lips as he sighs relief, release,
The Guy picked up the beer mat,
used the freefall to draw a square,
to draw four squares in the square,
to place the mat down on their cross,
its edges swelling as it soaked up dregs
of his life, he explained ~
top right, his family, top left, his work,
bottom right, himself, bottom left…
‘And this is you’, he explained
as he tapped the mat, moved it
up, to the sides and back, slowly,
to soak up every corner of his life,
being in every part of his day
seeing his struggle,
accepting him as and who and how,
believing in him unconditionally
because she had,
and will now always, save him.
The Girl’s eyes didn’t blink
as her mind rocked through
a battle which she’d never win,
fait accompli, unless she killed, now, for love for love
for a life lived on egg shells,
cushioning him from himself
while she felt every blow
of his own fear, ignoring her
dreams of simple contentment.
The Bartender told me
that as The Guy kissed her,
stood, turned to leave,
she held back one step,
reached to the table,
raised the last of her beer
in a private, silent toast
to her own resignation
and another day she’d died.
© 2011 Narnie
Shelved in 2 LibrariesAdded on March 6, 2011
Last Updated on March 6, 2011
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