You remember how slow
it could get when Howard remembered
his summers in Nevada, at the 2G Ranch
with Keith, and the night
in Winnemucca — at Kitty’s
Kozy Korner and the fight after that
outside Winners’ Casino,

deeper than than any salad
you ever ate, no matter the dressing
or whether you built it yourself
out of olives and lettuce,
out of sunflower seeds
and bits of real bacon,

After too many glasses of Jose
Cuervo, or whatever the house brand is,
maybe Sauza, at that place
in the upper valley
where they stuff the rainbow
trout with shrimp and crab

and the waitress
leaves her blouse unbuttoned
to there.

Which may explain why
after seventeen years
Jerry threw Sandy out
for messing around
down at the credit union,
with her boss’s brother,
and both of them — her and this guy —

came out to pick up her things,
and Jerry starts shooting, not really
at them, but over their heads
and they started running,
both of them back through the mud
to his Honda and took off
like paint.  He never saw them
again and I could go on
back to Jerry’s father,
or the winter that Howard and Keith
and I spent in Reno.  But, hell.
You haven’t been listening
and I really don’t
give a damn.

Look now,
here comes the band back again
with that crazy guy
still on the sax.

Come on,
I’m ready to dance.

Hear it:



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