Old Dogs

OPEN 7AM


stopped
at an intersection
a red light hostage
glancing impatiently around
attempting to find
something
in the surroundings
to distract me from
the routine start
of yet another
monotonous
day

then
I saw it
off to the right
sickly neon signs
outshone by the
morning sun

front door
propped open
in a feeble attempt
to coax a bit
of fresh air
into the too stale bar
desperation and hopelessness
tacitly apparent
in the darkness
beyond

I've spent
far too many
pointless mornings
in places
such as that

the putrefying smell
of spilled beer stale smoke
and urine
no competition
for the noisome cloud
about my own
marinating
body

I was
always hoping
that I wouldn't lose
too much
of that first drink
due to trembling hands
some insane pride
not allowing me
to take the first sip
from a stationary glass
firmly placed upon
the much steadier
wooden bar

always something
to prove
if only
to myself

a barstool
was always
an uneasy perch
feeling all at once
safe in the shadows
but still helplessly exposed
to the unforgiving
light of
reason

the signal
turned to green
and I pulled
quickly away

I was headed
to work
a respectable position
with a smell
and a death
all its
own