Register Monday | June 17 | 2019

Met For Drinks And Talked

A poem

Sat there, the two of them, flanked

by the Crystal Palace of whiskey bottles, glassware,

and mirrors, the time-rubbed caramel

of wood. On bar-

stools, with brass, slouched in repose.

And talked, the band tuning up, but let

down by the turnout. And shot shit

on how they met,

what they had meant when they said,

how they’d not understood, holding back

what they had to. Case study of

a love life. A wreck

is how it looked—theirs and theirs

but never really theirs, the tentative commingling

of attracted hearts—that art (abstract or action?),

shattered facets flung

on a canvas, in hopes of the elusive

aesthetic. Then the utter lack of something to offer,

sex, the letting-go factor, inklings of trust

and commitment. Dear

Abby, the band’s raw twang was

soundtrack to what’s always on their minds.

Dear Willie Nelson, Dear Will Oldham . . . They

agree to be friends.