Florida backwater sloshes
when she hot-whiskey-whispers:
just get me to a truck stop, and I will hitchhike
After your shift, Lisa gets you
slap-happy drunk, takes you
slumming-- across MLK Boulevard, the line
between down-on-luck and luckless, into narrow
bars with duct-taped jukeboxes
wailing, jukeboxes shrilling, jukeboxes
angry and lonesome and twitching
with static. Past sloe-eyed girls
with hard eyeliner and stiff hair, men
raising their heads from
peanuts and beer dregs to sniff
your tinny giggle.
Lisa has a man on her arm that night, then months
until Fritz, pale Army sergeant, stiff
and silent while baseball wavers on the TV.
Fritz never tips, but lives in a penthouse
up the street. Fritz-- the furthest
thing from Florida, all electric
fences and electric eyes, his own
pale eyes lashless.
A blow job cost twenty, anything else is extra.
With the ten-dollar deposit, she orders
change for the jukebox.
What are you doing? you hiss.
She cocks her head, ringlets diffusing
the dim light. Shut up and pour.
You pour thick amber light,
Lithuanian whiskey that stings
of cedar and cloves, tasting
only the sticky old door flapping
in her wake.