Standard

with the snapping slap
of a credit card,
we turned the night
from beer to hard-
stuff lining the wall
behind the bar;

“we’ll sample them all,”
he said, and
i’ll be damned
if he wasn’t right.

his memories
spanned centuries,
landscapes mangled
and twisted; brought low
by rot and violence;
even in silence,
the world inside
him shivered.

and so we drank
through histories
i cannot measure
until our senses dulled
and lulled us into lies.

on a rainslick sidewalk,
we parted ways—

he, to stumble
back through the past;
me, to tremble
before the night.

 
This poem originally appeared in the 2009 collection Sixty-Six.