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Aftermath (1987)

By Bruce Gunther


I wake up booze dizzy

in the backseat of my car

that straddles yellow lines of

a bar parking lot in Freeland.


I remember raucous swaying

on a dance floor,  and trading shots

with other bobbleheads at the bar.


I can only imagine my love against

another man’s back somewhere

in Saginaw, strands of her hair

flowing over his shoulder.


To think I’d fed coins to

a pay phone, dialing with

inebriated fingers, slits for eyes:

He hung up after “Hello?”


There’s no pity in a place like

this, freezing and hungover

in an old Buick held together

by rust, prayer, and faded luck.


When I emerge with the rise

of an aching sun, February

air stings my nostrils; and I wince

from slivered sun’s rays in my eyes.


The day’s first cigarette lit,

I think again of  her bright shiny

lover, her head coming to rest

on his chest, as silent as no goodbye.


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