by Grant Taylor

At the bar, men  
many 24, assume the position
in suspenders, commission tattoos
freethink over knifepoints of cocaine
watch boxing matches, and 
wonder what old cars they’d be fixing 
if they’d listened to their grandfathers more.
It’s 12:30 and the boozers are drunk
so they celebrate;
in truth they’re feeling far from home
drunk enough to use baseball metaphors 
but the boozers think they’d like to ramble
their longtime girlfriends they imagine
crying in front of the refrigerator when they’re gone.
Women like morels 
growing into the floors
of carpeted apartments.
Young women with better jobs and families take pity
feel a deep and personal shame, and
have the grace it seems to pick them up
take them home and pet their slicked-back hair
While he boozers count their irregular heartbeats
hint at a secret poetry
lie about the writing day spent 
watching the dog watch flies.
And the young women pay the gas bill
sweep the hearth, abide.