Acolytes

Sad drunk and weeping behind
Sheer black shields.
Ass flat and chafed and screaming,
Bowels churn under another threat,
A bombardment of liquid courage:
Less courage, though, than retreat.
Floodgates open—not that they’d be capable,
Anyway.

Young or old, smooth or scarred—
Forlorn,
And staring into the bottom of a glass
That sheds its own weak tears.

The drink is gone;
His beard sags heavy.
Always, the question is the same:

Why?

Why has god—
Or destiny, or whichever force it is that drives the human condition—
Dealt me this hand?
Where has she gone?
And why is it all blue tomorrows?

And despite the fact that every bar
Comes fully equipped with a mirror,
Not a one of them—
Wrapped in denim, eyes shaded from the sunlight—
Ever looks long enough to see the answer.