Monday, July 29, 2019

Late Sunday at Vesuvio by William Taylor Jr.

You eventually reach a point when time
becomes a thing that chases you,
with a flashlight, a  mirror,
and a finely bound edition
of your collected failures,

and it finds me here, at  my
balcony table, with that sinking feeling
that I will fail to solve the major
and ongoing problems of existence

before the yoke of Monday morning
pulls me back to the reality of things
like an animal to the mess it's made.

I console myself with the fact
of this glass of wine,
the sun still in the sky,

and maybe just time enough
for everything to fall into place,
and everyone to be saved,
forgiven, and redeemed
before the darkness comes.

I'm watching three guys down in Kerouac Alley
smoking something that makes their heads
shake funny,

as the woman at the table next to mine
declares that right now she is so fucking fucked up,

and me, I'm just trying
to get there, too.

The guys in the alley,
they're jerking their heads
and talking to the dirt

as I pray for the pretty waitress
to hurry and bring me something good.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including Rattle, The New York Quarterly, The American Journal of Poetry, and The Chiron Review. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a collection of short fiction. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. To Break the Heart of the Sun is his latest collection of poetry.

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