Across the street from the clean, clean counter where
you dig elbows into glossed oak surfaces, there is a closed
dive, lamented, serenaded by neighborhood historians,
glasses raised, you loved it, you knew it, you say
after one-- maybe three- pitchers of high life, shrunk
into corners by snarling old black men proclaiming
that you're like one of the uglier beatles.
just. look at that hair.
across the way, up the hill and a bus or three away,
on the dilapidated sidewalk outside the bar where
an acquaintance from high school sells cocaine to part
time art-schoolers, you smoke and smoke and buy t-shirts
and hot dogs and smoke and smoke and eat more hot dogs
and do not realize the taxis stop running, do not realize
the limits within the city's limits.
there are so many boxes holding old copies of the Stranger.
two weeks, a day, four months. as if no one reads hear any more.
past the place you always meant to buy a cheesesteak, but
really, who could expect you to, when the bike paths meant so many
swerved tires and knocked-elderlies. across the way, sometimes
you watch the sunrise, or set, and wonder when they'll foreclose
on the ethiopian coffeeshop, the hispanic church and the
laundromat you assume is a drug front, get a bar in that
plays Sufjan Stevens.
but the row is full of food. there are so many ways
to eat a drink. to fill a counter.
your girlfriend chastises the server for a lack of gluten free options.
after all, sweeping back her hair, we're not savages.