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Posts Tagged ‘glass’

In every bar there’s someone sitting alone and absolutely absorbed
by whatever he’s seeing in the glass in front of him,

a glass that looks ordinary, with something clear or dark

inside it, something partially drunk but never completely gone.

Everything’s there: all the plans that came to nothing,

the stupid love affairs, and the terrifying ones, the ones where actual happiness
opened like a hole beneath his feet and he fell in, then lay helpless

while the dirt rained down a little at a time to bury him.

And his friends are there, cracking open six-packs, raising the bottles,

the click of their meeting like the sound of a pool cue

nicking a ball, the wrong ball, that now edges, black and shining,

toward the waiting pocket. But it stops short, and at the bar the lone drinker

signals for another. Now the relatives are floating up

with their failures, with cancer, with plateloads of guilt

and a little laughter, too, and even beauty—some afternoon from childhood,

a lake, a ball game, a book of stories, a few flurries of snow

that thicken and gradually cover the earth until the whole

world’s gone white and quiet, until there’s hardly a world

at all, no traffic, no money or butchery or sex,

just a blessed peace that seems final but isn’t. And finally

the glass that contains and spills this stuff continually

while the drinker hunches before it, while the bartender gathers

up empties, gives back the drinker’s own face. Who knows what it looks like;

who cares whether or not it was young once, or ever lovely,

who gives a shit about some drunk rising to stagger toward

the bathroom, some man or woman or even lost

angel who recklessly threw it all over—heaven, the ether,

the celestial works—and said, Fuck it, I want to be human?

Who believes in angels, anyway? Who has time for anything

but their own pleasures and sorrows, for the few good people

they’ve managed to gather around them against the uncertainty,

against afternoons of sitting alone in some bar

with a name like the Embers or the Ninth Inning or the Wishing Well?

Forget that loser. Just tell me who’s buying, who’s paying;

Christ but I’m thirsty, and I want to tell you something,

come close I want to whisper it, to pour

the words burning into you, the same words for each one of you,

listen, it’s simple, I’m saying it now, while I’m still sober,

while I’m not about to weep bitterly into my own glass,

while you’re still here—don’t go yet, stay, stay,

give me your shoulder to lean against, steady me, don’t let me drop,

I’m so in love with you I can’t stand up.

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