I was thinking about the night the highway was empty, and we drove to the Diner by the Bay…
with only two white lights in my rearview mirror, we drove in silence, smoked cigarettes one at a time, one after another,
Until the box was left with little brown crumbs.
“Why do you do heroin Jonny?”
“I don’t baby, heroin does me”
She hid behind a cloud of blue smoke as she picked at the dirt under her nails that were once painted black.
“… let’s eat baby, there is a Diner right next to the bikers’ bar and water tower …”
“do they have salad?”
“of course baby … whatever you want …”
We rolled into the parking lot, two men yelled, screamed, showed the veins in their red foreheads, the blood in their desolate eyes, so we sat by the jukebox and played Elvis.
“listen to ‘em sing baby, just listen”
“What is he singing about?”
“He’s singing about you baby, you and your perilous c%&t”
I got up and walked to el bano (the man in the next stall heard the flick of my Bic and a simmering boil as I prepared the junk in my not so silver spoon).
When I returned we ordered food and drank beer and talked about it all, (laughed about it too),while a procession of drunks and the smell of cigarettes on my fingers and her lips
Evoked a Vigilant and Avid God.
(This poem was written by me in 2014 and was originally published in my very first chapbook “Laughing in Your Sleep” on J&A Publishing; a book of about a dozen or so poems that features original drawings by my wife and artist Alycia Vreeland.
The chapbook is no longer available and is now out of print, but here is the old page with some other poems you can find on its timeline. https://www.facebook.com/laughinginyoursleep/
Both pieces of art you see here were done by Alycia. Don’t worry, one day these chapbooks will be resurrected into a book of free verse poems, you can count on that for sure).