Feb

13

Oliver’s Return

Oliver’s Return

Uttering guttural imprecations that begin with the sound of ‘f’
below his breath he stuttered
in three not English languages, that if he’d not done
such and such, if this or that instead
he’d not be here but there to do
some such or the other with so and so,
his tie matched his shoelaces, plaid by Obrygower
his hat, a fat fedora… with a little dried lizard,
its mouth open and a strange dead look in its eyes
tucked inside the hat’s band…
sat at a tilt on the stool next to the rail
his only friends, true to the hard facts, always near at hand
and talking trash,
Jack the Dan, Jimmie Broad Beam, and Old Grand Dad,
he’d slammed around with this these, last new moon even,
awakening to a swollen watermelon for a head
split and rotting in strobe light sun and spilling seeds

Dangling a thumb from the lapel of his opalescent Lille Bretille
he picked an olive shaded green gray, the color
of her eyes, from a tray at his left and hurled it
at the mirror where crossing the bar it ricocheted and bounced
ishkabibble-ishkabob, until voila it popped
into the martini of that maid like a question playing.
Playing with a pleat in her jet black hair
She put it in her mouth, it bulged a second
in the crease her cheek formed from an easy smile
until succulently, voluptuously, invitingly she chewed through it.
laughing, this inapt introduction led to better things

But a year later you‘d never know it
you could never tell, obsidian panama at right elbow.
head to toe in black silk with white tie
from the International he sits the night
on the same stool, the same epithets
in Hebrew, Russian or in Greek,
the same sometime friends but wetter seeds spilling on the copper
No olive tray in sight but a calico cat
about to alight in his lap, a dead mouse in its mouth
s
x

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