The Last Drop


Just in from the cold

on a sweltering, derelict afternoon

in the summer of sixteen,

with sad eyes, red as rusty pipes,

glistening with recent tears

brought on by eons of prideful regret,

smelling of bus station bathrooms

and the smoke of a billion fires

spewing toxic fumes

from curling multi-colored plastic bags

a particularly grimey set of rags

with no one left within,

walked into a bar.

How could you possibly forgive me?

the nothingness within asked.

The words rattled around,

yes, they rattled around those filthy clothes

like dead cockroaches on a fling.

before flipping onto their backs

on the bar top, dead to the world.

The bartender poured a beer

and set it before the smoldering pile.

Here, have one more on the house.

The customers all left ages ago.

He was a kind and generous bartender.

He wasn’t picky about who he served.

A few remaining gases awoke rumbled

as they escaped the free standing

clump of discards on the stool.

I’m here for you to abuse, to accuse,

blame and misuse, the reeking discards slurred,

I was once someone or someone was me,

I no longer remember which, or care.

but I was finally beaten down.

go ahead, give me a kick.

It’s ok.

I no longer have a mind to mind.

A swig was mysteriously swilled

and dribbled onto the floor,

The bartender looked around

to see if anyone was watching

and seeing no one,

came around the bar

and took a swing with his left foot

but connected with nothing.

He felt a lot better though

as he carried the smelly rags

out the back door

and threw them in the bin.

Then he heard another dribble

hit the floor inside the empty bar.

It fell without judgement,

without blame, or shame

and would require

neither mop.

nor word of thanks,

so he went back inside

and poured another glassful,

which was his job of course,

and offered a nervous toast

to nothing at all,

sitting unadorned across from him,

then swallowed

the last drop



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