The Bar Closes (But You Don’t Want to Go Home)

While the man you love bites stories
into someone else’s back, there’s a flicker
in your eye only seen in late-night

television (the heroine stretching her face, half-
grin, half-cry), all you’ve done wrong
clarified in a liquidy theme song.

You say, the only party is my party, the only
death worth dying is the disastrous one.
If everything was black and white,

darling, the world would look more
like an afterlife, certain and grand
and unexplainable. But even the shoreline

against the city tonight is indecisive,
jagged and rocky the way desire used to be
before you knew enough to know it was desire.

by Aaron Smith

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