the neon above my head
flickers in its unnatural rhythm: millerlite.
millerlite. millerlite. miller. they don't
even serve it here anymore but hangs
still. like an old family portrait with
the soft blue background, sweater vests, and sunday bests. each face adorned
with the most perfect smile one could muster
at a Kmart after church. long since
divorced parents hands
resting on their children's shoulders who might be
old enough to drink here by now. and billy
who once loved baseball is leather clad
in the corner. brandishing nose rings, and
skull tattoos, a chain clinging to his wallet.
maybe that's julia, the oldest, leaning over
to ignite on a match held calmly by a man
who won't respect her in the morning.
and that incessant buzzing hums on as
a reminder. what's here today will
be gone tomorrow. that history might
as well be hanging from the walls
of every dive bar in america. a shrine
to things never working out as planned.
and with every sip the buzz gets louder.
drinking to forget in the first place.