Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Collapse by Nicole Burdette

I’ve seen you cross an empty room
With a bottle of booze in one hand
And a paper cup in the other
I’ve seen you thinking you were alone
But I know better
And I’ve had visits from you
We were leaning in the hallway
When you turned on the radio saying good-bye
And then later when you collapsed at the counter
When you wept so hard your knees gave out
The unnatural light hit your features hard
Digging in your pockets, you put something in my hand
And looked at the other for an answer in my palm
So I sat there with you,
One hand open and the other clutching your coins
You hung on me with the weight of a bear, heavy
After some coffee and a couple of times around the block
We walked through more alleys and barren roads,
Hitting dead ends, turning around
Both of us are from the Midwest
Where men and women really do hate each other
I knew that
You are another Hamlet
So when you tell me to stay away
Because you are crazy and not nice sometimes
I believe you
And manage a smile
At you and I crammed in a corner
Dancing to Roy Orbison because you said
“We have to dance. It’s Roy Orbison.