80 degrees
on a sunday
finished w/work
I wander, aim-

less, it would seem
into some bar
near Halsted &
Diversey at

6 p.m. &
order Stoli
over ice w/
lemon & Liz

the bartender
herself & plays
Joni Mitchell

on the jukebox
& then The Cure’s
Pictures of You
song takes me back

to age 18
but who wants to
be so awkward
then, let alone

at 33.
Nobody here
but 3 other
women, Sox fans

up N. for the
crosstown classic
chatting sex &
calling me out

for having walked
into such talk
a friendly crowd
for Lincoln Pk.

I hate the Cubs
or at least can’t
stand those vapid
Wrigleyville Chads

& Tiffanys
hot to adopt
the Cubs, their Chads
teat-jobs & all

& T. Heldt called
earlier, wants
to get some beers,
find a reading,

maybe. Liz is
pretty, dirt-blonde
bangs & exposed
unpierced navel

wider hips &
tight, all-black clothes
but the red fake
pearls on her neck

are a spurting
aorta, hot
cinnamon drops
or grenadine

bleed into some
about college
or student loans

or some other
small talk like that.
Others have come
to the bar now

. & I’m writing
& they’re talking
& I’m finished
drinking Stoli,

counting all of
the syllables
like some workshop
reject & the

setting sun paints
storefront across
St. platinum
like pictures of

Algiers in grade
school history
textbooks or some
‘60s epic

from Hollywood.
& the moon in
Scorpio for
another day.

The juke is good
for Lincoln Pk.
The syllables

will do, I guess