POETRY: Michael Bartelt – Don’t Try To Escape

Don’t Try To Escape

The empty beer glasses remind me
to take a break from this conversation
I’m having on the nature of impulse
with this girl I didn’t think had it in her.

I stand up, find out I’m drunker
than I thought I was, more open
to this environment
I thought wasn’t for me.

“Not divey enough,” I had said.
“Too many artsy fartsy types.”

New emptiness is being met by the band
playing that familiar song, this feeling
the bartender’s mustache is my own
and I like it, despite the joke I made
to Jack when we walked in.
I think I might have been
bullying myself.

Everything is becoming
too sentimental.
I think I might puke,
so I resolve to slowly kill myself
with a cigarette and some air.

I take my place
by one of those cigarette dispensers,
which I suspect has no need
for the process of emptying and refilling
because around it

there must be a hundred or more
cigarette butts becoming one
with the communist grass.

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