Hank’s shadow

she smiled at me,
“hear you love bukowski”

i smiled back and nodded

“you want to be just like

i shook my head

“not good enough?”
she teased

i shrugged, tapped out a
fresh cigarette and signaled
for another scotch

she grabbed the pack and
helped herself, her eyes and
lips with the same smirk

i lit it for her and returned
to my drink, the droplets of
water difusing in the amber

“be honest, why don’t you
dream of being bukowski?”

i sipped the scotch and took
a long drag, listening to the
tobacco crackle, then exhaled
a cloud of smoke before turning to her,

“because hank would have talked to you all night, bought you
whatever you wanted to drink,
showered you with praise, and
then gone home alone, drank
himself into a stupor, then
lied about you in prose”

her hand rested on my knee,
“and what would you do
differently?” she asked with
a curious smile

“make you buy me drinks, and then, later on, write poetry
on your flesh with my tongue”

she signaled the bartender,
and ordered us both drinks,
and i gave thanks to hank,
from the comfort of his
impossibly long shadow


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