Oyster Boy Review 04  
  Spring 1996
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» Levee 67


Song for the Drunks

Richard Allen

The town is drunk tonight.
If you must walk the streets
you'll see the crippled parking meters,
cars ignoring traffic signals,
lurching, taking alleyways
from opposite directions,
heaving up onto the curbs
and grinding gears as drivers
stumble out and shiver.

The town is mean tonight
to dogs and kids and strangers.
You might want to hide your glasses
lest you stumble on the sidewalk,
brush against a denim jacket
and incur the wrath of thinning blood
and thinning hair
and calluses.
The foreman's head is sitting on your shoulders.

As you dine with new comedians
and referee for cowards
and avoid the eyes of flirting wives
and ride the bus with corpses,
you might dream a thousand hatchets
swinging down upon the tables and
the filthy tablecloths.

A dream
born of fat pastors and idle mornings.
Your sobriety is arrogant.