Holy water shot glass
Intoxicating and excruciating, a baggy Bob Marley T-shirt
hanging off your shoulder when we first met
I felt, drunk on you, I should be forced to walk a sidewalk
straight line and touch an extended finger to my nose.
On weekend barstools we alternated playing the game
and arguing the rules with no clear winner putting
dollars in the tip jar and loose change in a
1970s back corner Wurlitzer juke box.
After Saturday night dinner and late night drinks
I’d respectfully line up early morning
Sunday Holy Water shot glasses and I would
drink mine to wash us with redemption
but you refused yours preferring instead to run away
and take our memory with you like a boomerang
that won’t return.
So now I throw darts in vain at autumn State Fair balloons
in a last ditch attempt to win your failing heart a
fading carnival goldfish while you escape and hide like a
linen closet skeleton.
Trying to find you I search for clues on
collected bar coasters and cocktail napkin love notes
stored in an old cardboard shoebox treasure chest
wrapped with pink ribbon and then
abandoned by you.
Now on a distant roadside, at mile marker 19
on rural route 81, on your way to somewhere
comfortable, or just new, traffic rolls by you,
but my eyes are here being burned by images
on blistered Polaroids of us, and my hand
by the phone number on a half-empty matchbook,
slid with purpose into my back pocket on
our day one.
As I glide my finger across the digits,
determined to read our future in Braille,
I remind myself in the moonlight
that I want to find you and bring you back
like a happy ending that wants to begin over again
or like a sad and broken story that wants a
Hail Mary half a chance to fix itself.
“Holy water shot glass” is included in my collection titled, ‘Self Inflicted Heart Shaped Wounds,” which is available in eBook and paperback at Amazon.