I feel like the 21st wheel

on a big ass truck

roaring down the highway

like a beast.

This tank doesn’t need

any anecdotes

for the ensuing party.

 

It jams headlong with guys

pissing off the back end

and women screaming

when their names call them

back up to the mic

for another go-round.

 

In the far corner

someone is taking a nap.

A woman sings:

“I’ve got trouble in my town.”
A moment ago

another girl was, “Torn”

and the karaoke director

declared last call.
I wonder about some of the faces

when another woman steps up

to sing, “If she, wants to be a freak

and sell it on the weekend,”

but that’s none of my business.

I know she’s right,

so I sit back and take another sip

from the din that carries memories

in the odor of alcohol

and cigarettes in the fumes

of successes and miscarriages

 

It is apart of the decor

and like everything else
is covered in the laughter,

the declarations of “Never again!”

The cheers for sports scores

along with the “Oh shit’s!”

Conversations mingle

in and out to become the sound

of glasses poured to overflow.

Then the words suddenly blend

and sing, “She says I am the one,

but the kid is not my son.”

 

It drifts away like the tide

slipping back into the ocean

until the beat

is the only thing distinct

gushing through a cocktail party

where not a word can be found.

It is a place for the local color

where sometimes one passes out

and another strikes up a bout

then someone gets ejected

when the other gets taken out.

 

It’s a place where after one night

you are now a part of the tribe

and should come back.

Arrive and sit alone quietly

or mingle in the cacophony.
The taps are still pouring

and the lights are now fading.

The slower songs of longing

are drifting over the ruckus

dwindling and turning the talk

to words of wanting.

 

The bartender looks over

and gives me a smile

because it’s me he’s glad to see.

He throws an arm over my shoulder

and drops a drink without asking.

 

The crowd has faded,

but the stragglers remain.

There is laughter,

but one or two have a tear.

They will both return another day

to wind away from the world

and be with friends

which are acquaintances.

 

It is a place where everyone

might not know your name,

but they all know your face.

It is a place where the baffled king

sits alone at the bar composing

and another

puts a hand on your shoulder

and says Halleluiah.

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