The Cost of Routine Booze Madness

I like this.. for reasons I will not get into.

Walking Is Still Honest Press

One Dollar
by Ryan Hardgrove

the old man
urban poverty thin
strapped behind his beer
and long Pall Mall’s
crustacean scale jowls
burnt red from decades
of routine booze madness

during the day
he sells $5 t-shirts
(fabricated by child slaves
three thousand miles away)
to big-eyed suburban tourists

and as the dull crimson urban dusk sets in
he finds a bar stool
and goes to work
taking long heavy gulps of barely cold beer
small beads of froth
seeping down his yellow-grey straw beard
as one of his Pall Mall’s smolders in the ashtray

his natural filth
mingles with the thin blue plume
pouring from his cigarette
and joins the perpetual
bar room smog
that hangs above the patrons
like leftover stardust
from the drunken supernovas
of yester-night

he makes eye contact with me
for the first time, finally drunk
and he smiles
dead brown stalactites for teeth

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