an old girlfriend sits next to me
at Walsh’s, the stretch of bar
farthest from the door, dimmest,
rainbows in her eyes the colors
of every bottle behind Jan,
the bartender who favors T-shirts
the color of cheese left
on the counter for three days.
The tigers, the monkeys out
the corner of my eyes chitter
their warnings but it’s me,
you know, my head is primordial
ooze as soon as she tells me
she’s gone commando tonight.
Satan could try to summon God
in the corner and Jan could give
me three free vodka gimlets
and I wouldn’t notice unless
someone tossed an eyepatch
on a black goat. And so here
we are, words tangled in the air
above this scarred black formica,
syllables flung off in random
directions, innocent barflies
around us who clutch their eyes
and howl like they’re in the jungle.
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise xterminal.bandcamp.com and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Collective Unrest, Cough Syrup, and Blood & Bourbon, among others.