listening carefully
the guy next to me
at the bar (where you'd
expect) is talking, and I
am listening carefully
"that's what it's all about
with women", he's saying
"that's what they want
these days, all of 'em".
I nod solemnly and touch
the rim of my beer glass.
"and someone'll give it to 'em"
he continues and stretches
a hanky out of his pocket.
"but you can bet it won't be me",
and he commences to blow
his nose into the handkerchief,
goes for a few seconds,
pauses to take a breath in
through the mouth, and goes again.
I keep waiting for the buzzing
of air through clean nostril
to break through the muffle and say
that he's done it, cleared the airways.
he goes again, huffing
and pushing at the blockage,
wishing he could hold more wind.
then again; and once more.
finally the sound comes. he stuffs
away the hanky and resumes speaking
"ya' know why?" he asks.
I nod again, thinking of the time
I came down with flu
and thought it would never end.

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