Stopping by the Drugstore for a Bag of Pink Razors

by Amorak Huey

Oh the things we do for luck. I've been late-shifting at the bar,
another uneventful episode pouring hardluck drinks

for those seeking forgiveness, or permission:
beerspill, sweatstain, stale tobacco, uneasy glances

at my elbow tattoos. Breathe in this polluted sweep—
what passes for fresh air. My city, my time of night,

my shortcuts & streetlights. We've all done these scenes:
cat knocks over trash can & our hero relaxes

thinking danger past. We've all fallen in love
with the same three stars: those bright enough

to shove through the haze. One day I woke
& it had been a long time since I'd told

my favorite jokes, you know, women
& batteries, foxes & elephants—not even

faintly amusing anymore & anyone who thinks
people don't change hasn't seen my bald spot.

I am a long way from sleep: neon storefront, all-hours pharmacy,
at home a woman who cares enough to shave her legs,

& something resembling ordinary
burbling through the cracks in the sidewalks.

In the distance a siren. Another possibility unfolding.

Amorak Huey, a longtime newspaper reporter and editor, now teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, Rattle, RHINO, Caketrain, The Collagist, and other print and online journals. Follow him on Twitter: @amorak.

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