his eyes are bleary and mostly
closed, his mouth broken
from drink.
a pint of guinness
on a stool to his left, he
sways, cries out “fuck bush!”
and mumbles something else,
angry and indecipherable,
into the microphone.
he staggers
and grabs the stand tighter.

when he sings, the voice shows
only a little sign of the life
and remains remarkably in tune.
the town is still dirty, the girl
with brown eyes is gone, and the
thousands who were sailing have
long since reached their destination,
but the poet is still there, somewhere,
in the heart that has pumped more
liquor than blood.
and, maybe,
that is what keeps the man alive.


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