“A CHARLES BUKOWSKI SLEEPOVER”

He was alive
and in my college apartment.
We'd ordered
Chinese food
and ate it,
discussing
women. He had more
to say
than I.
"You still have time,"
he told me, cracking
open his fortune cookie.
He wore my bathrobe to bed
and drank all the beer
in my fridge.
I passed out, beside him,
on the blue
inflatable mattress.
"Hey kid," Hank said,
shaking my left foot.
"You gotta wake up.
You're outta beer."

And so I did wake up
and Charles Bukowski
was dead again; gone.
The strangest thing
was that
I'd never
owned
a bathrobe.

I got up,
put some water on
to boil
and looked in the
fridge.

He was right.
I was outta beer.

I'd already known that,
but it meant something
more;
something urgent
that
Charles Bukowski
said it.

The water began to boil
and
coarse coffee
waited
at the bottom
of my press.
I poured over the grind,
watching the crust rise.
An aroma of steam
bellowed out
from the steeping.

The more dead
people I have
to dream about,
the more I need
to drink.
It's only sad
they can't
join me
any other way.

Carrying my cup
back to my room,
a silver dollar
of
creamer swished;
another thing
waiting
at the bottom
for what always
takes
longer than
I want to be ready.

I sat down,
cracked the crust,
poured it out
and thought
this
might be the best way
to begin
yet another sunny day
in July.

narrative poem written on 07-11-2014 by: on mattkane.com
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