December 26, 2008


by R.B. Morgan

My friend the bartender
With his gigantic ex-wrestler
Grace and ferocity
Throws me out the door,

He does not want
To injure my mangled legs.
He is kind. He knows how they
Came to be the heavy half of history
I drag behind.

All I wanted was one good shot,
The lightening jolt of electricity
From fist to arm to restart
Head and heart and cock;
To shut that punkass loudmouth hick
Right the fuck up.

My friend, the bartender, says,
When he's sure I can stand again,
Just a couple days, man.
'Til then you're eighty-sixed

Now it is Christmas Eve.
My friend the bartender wears
A Santa hat.
I am safely back on the cracked-plastic
Of the rusted barstool.
The skinny hick has disappeared.
Stories about a ball-bat, fractured leg.
Rumors fly like blizzard driven snowflakes
This holiday time of year.

Santa and his muscles and the scars
Around his eyes pours a double Wild Turkey
With a little water back.
Bless you, child, I tell him, because I have
Been given the gift of ten Vicodin.
All my pain sleeps in the
Tangles of my brain stem
And angels sing.

The bartender turns, shaking his head
At another beaten down lousy bum.
He pretends a limp and says,
Sure, dawg, sure. How's that go?
I drink the double down and burn
In the proof of its flame.
God bless us, I say,
More broken than I have ever been,
God bless us every one.


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