There’s a time when the singing stops,
when even the clock over the bar
runs out of time, a time when the music
ends, a time when the only thing left
is to walk out the tavern door into the city
night, when it’s time to look
at yourself in the rear-view mirror
of the car you’ll drunkenly aim
home, and the face that looks back at you
shows the effects of booze, gravity, and time,
and when you arrive at the house
you’re always running from, the woman
who’s waiting at the back door will say
it’s time we talked, but you can’t stop
the small explosions in your head,
and the rooms of your house belong
to a stranger who wears your clothes,
sleeps in your bed each night, inhabits
your dreams. If only the stranger
would wake from your nightmares,
the one you are living now, where
it’s time to retrieve a cold Bud
from the fridge, time to drink it down
so you can sleep and dream a little longer,
until the cold morning brings its bright
reckoning through the plastic covered
windows and the morning sun slowly
marks time as it crosses the kitchen floor.