16 February 2014


It's Tuesday and not much else
can be said of the world
you drink in a room of faces
and she who was once your one true love
is now a ghost that drifts
through crowds of strangers
swearing she never knew your name
your heart a vagabond
with a cardboard suitcase
wandering the unfriendly streets of everywhere
where all the signs in all the windows read
no vacancy
and you're weary of the past
and the future
and profoundly indifferent
to this moment that holds you like a toy
you close your eyes
and try and think upon her face
but it's forever lost to you
like something stolen by the sea
and neither she nor the world
have any interest in your tears
and neither will remember your name
with particular fondness
so you drink
and gaze into your hands
while the mirror behind the bar
reflects your lack
of conviction and grace
but in spite of it all you imagine
something sleeps within you
that might yet rise again
to marvel at the absurdity of the earth
and yourself upon it
and regain some sense of joy
at the madness of it all
so you take the ghost of her face
and everything it ever said
and stuff it in the cardboard suitcase
of your heart
you order one last whiskey
from the kind and beautiful waitress
suck it down
and stumble back out into the sun
like some wounded god
asking the world for maybe
one more chance.


William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. Broken When We Got Here, his latest book of poetry, and An Age of Monsters, his first collection of fiction, are both available from Epic Rites Press. The Blood of a Tourist, a book of new poems, will be published in early 2014 by Sunnyoutside Press. William was a recipient of the 2013 Acker Award.


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