These feelings roll down my tongue
like bourbon, bitter until the third glass.
insipid as the day-old coffee grounds,
mulching inside the dirty mugs, unwashed in the sink.

Heavy, like second-hand cigarette smoke,
the kind that lingers around the bar stools,
bloodshot and tired, the regulars are always loud.

So much laughter, squeezed from ashy lungs.
Sniffling noses and beady eyes.
The girls drooping down the stairs like the hot breeze.
In and out, and always back again.

Repetition for the hopeless types,
bleeding fingers caught in bathroom doorways.
The bleary pacing across the gum-shot pavement,
hoping to wash out the beer stains before the sun
goes back to work.