March 16, 2022

Nebraska




I wandered into a town I’d never been in
brand new but I’d seen it all before

check cashing places, tattoo shops, sub places, dollar stores; I put my head in my hands 

tried to disappear like that cat in that story 

but no such luck

that afternoon, I found an anonymous room in a shabby seen better days motel

checked in with the weight of a grand piano 

on my shoulders for some reason

room with no lampshades on the lights

dead bugs smeared on the walls

there wasn’t much to do except stare

at the cracked gray wall that looked like a roadmap of Nebraska

so I figured, I’m dry and whiskey’s wet—I’m no saint

found a below the belt bar that was

a few notches below being a subpar bar

took a seat at the end of a table

that Wild Bill Hickok might have sat on

not far from the door///just in case 

Jack McCall came in

and I’m holding two black aces and eights

some woman, a 6 on a good day sauntered over asked me if I wanted company

I wasn’t in the mood so I told her 

I was an independent contractor

don't think she got the humor 

but she got the message and vaporized

just wanted to drink and think and think and drink

lights around the bar were getting very fuzzy

so that was my cue to leave before they went out

or I passed out 

got back to the room after walking/weaving through 

a funhouse and Nebraska was waiting for me

slipped into sleepyland on washed too many times sheets that weren’t even pretending to be white

the morning came too fast  

there was a sickly yellow glow

behind the dirty drapes that didn’t fit the window 

I wanted to stay in bed but check-out time was 11

and it felt like the sword of Damocles

was hanging over my head