Parallel play

Another hazy woman had come & gone
even the bra under the bed was no more
that one thing she always came back for
& we’d end up in the bed again
no toothbrush in the bathroom
clothes hangers on the back of the door
I was back to no food in the fridge
she was definitely gone this time
it was time to head out to a strange bar
where nobody knew me & I
wouldn’t have to talk to anybody
about anything I didn’t want to
I walked in to a little place
old Jukebox in the corner
couple of guys in a line staring at nothing
& a barmaid stirring a cloth around
every now & then she’d sling money into the juke
to play sad songs while she sniffled to herself
one by one the bored drinkers upped & left
it came down to just us two
she brought a couple of beers over
pulled up a stool with a thump
& started in on the story
it was free beer
I had nothing more to do today
so I sat & listened
it was the same old old story
he couldn’t listen
didn’t take her seriously
did not have time for her
life
friends
family
I got it all over the next hours
sitting there sucking up free beer
like I was listening
& I wondered if there was another bar somewhere
where she was sitting telling anyone
the same things about me
all that babble needed was a face in front
to look like it was hearing the words said
at least she was drowning out my own thoughts
the bar filled again
got lively for a while
then emptied
when the server is down
needing sad sounds on the ‘box
that puts a buzz kill on everyone
closing time came
come she said
& walked me a block or two
to a tiny apartment
all cold smelling of cat
I’m no romantic but that was missing
we fell into her grey drab bed
fumbled for a short while
& fell asleep
the cat woke me about 5
I found its food under the sink
poured a bowl
& left

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