An asthmatic faucet spits gouts of water
into a rusted sink, below a cracked mirror.
When I exit the bathroom,
the line of blank stares,
inches closer.

Beneath the lights of the bar,
we toast our shots of Southern Comfort
under the auspices of Jimi Hendrix.
We shout to each other because we want to laugh,
because whispers are for churches and classrooms.
We paid two dollars to rent this hour,
and fill this vacant lot of memory.

We exit our local bars at last call and walk home,
screaming nicknames down the dark alleys,
through tin cans attached by the strings
that wound around our friendship.
We drink shots at our children’s weddings,
and the open bars of our high school reunions
leaving pools of urine in the white porcelain
of funeral homes.

What is an American life, if not a collection?
An album of revelry, of drinks and conversations
whose exact words float in cigarette smoke
around the warped lips of aging loves.