Keller Bar, St. Cloud, MN

by krstaten

Come find me again. I’m at the back of the bar / away

from the skirts too short for December and the tattoos
and piercings and beanies, the torn and patched vests
over flannels and the long haired men and wing-eyed women / away

from the stage with the cymbals and the 80s hair metal guitar
and the singer with curly hair that sings like Death, if Death
was a well-intentioned twenty-something with a fear of dying himself / away

from the carpet in front of the stage with a leaf pattern of red, red
autumn that your shoes stick to from spilled beer and maybe something else
and the squelching noise you can’t hear above the din / away

from the cheering, swaying, drunken crowd hoping to escape
the snow and the pressing realizations and obligations
that claw at their backs like over-eager lovers / away

from the crumbling popcorn ceiling and the hole where once
a guitar’s headstock burst through and the faux rock walls
like a dungeon under yellow lights hanging crooked / away

from the line of barstools groaning, carrying men and women home.

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