by Colin Dodds
A Final Round
I was led like Socrates to the slaughter.
And they cut my head off quick, without hacking.
They batted it idly against the courtyard wall awhile.
I think my parents set me up.
After the crowd left, they placed my head back onto my neck,
then walked off, burbling with smalltalk.
I stood up, gingerly. I wasn’t dead yet,
but couldn’t reason why. A little dizzy, a little bleary,
I went for a drink, to wait for death to catch on.
My executioners came in, talking cautiously.
And I stayed at the bar, rattled but amused.
Healing was out of the question.
Beyond eavesdropping at last,
I ordered another drink and reveled
in my peculiar, almost-dead blues.
Slouching on a Siamese Pipe
I’ve been waiting this way
As long as I could arrange—
Somewhere between a millionaire
And a man who needs to change.
Every bar is an island,
But not one where I can stay.
I make my home, I take my stand
Then daylight throws me away.
I throw myself away, claim it wasn’t my idea.
My self-breaking heart waits until the lights are out
Before uttering its one true plea.
The barstools, the women and the war
Come along for the ride.
Like the contents of a drawer
Yanked open too hard,
We slosh like a frustrated tide.
All the bars are the same.
Their residents meant me harm before I came.
The friendliest ones take the most,
Wielding new vices,
Sealing my fate with a toast.
At the end, slouching on a Siamese pipe,
The air dirty with desperate laughter
I look at my hands and wonder
If the moment was ever ripe,
If it was life that I was really after.