Editor’s note: This poem was found carved with an as-yet unidentified sharp utensil in the bathroom stall of the storied and now defunct dive bar Power House in Hollywood, California. The linguistic professors Zachary Slidebourne and Xena Lysteria of UC-Berkley and Chapman, respectively, have fed the lines that follow through algorithmic analysis and determined, again respectively, a 71.777 percent likelihood that they were penned by the late Merle Haggard and a 63.321 percent likelihood that they were, improbably, drafted as a collaboration between the late Poet Laureate Reed Whittemore and a vomitous Juliette Lewis.
i looked away and forgot how you looked.
that last drink dimmed down my eyes.
brunette, i think, nose a little crooked?
that you ordering two straight-up ryes?
got your name twice but forgot where i put it.
i remember your degree in design.
when the bill comes i hope you foot it.
i already overdrafted mine.
i remember your brown suede jacket
‘cause you leaned it on my arm.
and that look you gave me made a racket.
i must remind you of someone with charm.
outside i’ll bum two smokes for us
while you hunt down a lighter
from a handsome guy who makes me jealous.
the fuck you doing with this underemployed writer?
i’ll wait for you to call the uber.
my b.a.c.’s higher than my checking.
while you hail the car i pick a goober.
in the backseat we finally start necking.
with my eyes closed, i forget your face,
your name, your voice, your height,
the bar, the car, my life, god’s grace.
just your skin, your mouth, your bite.
you’re a ghost in my arms i’ll never know
but your aura is slipping into mine.
and i’m glad you told the driver where to go
‘cause i’m sure your place is better than mine.