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Two Poems

by Dancing Bear

After Hours

the tables bussed
napkins and cloths put out for
early morning white laundry trucks
spotless stainless steel
awaits the next shift

we sit on barstools
lights dimmed low
drinking Heinies or Lone Stars
pockets full of rent, gas and electric

the owner counts the back office
while we talk about the idiots
with money and attitude
how we never want to be like them
knowing we’ll never get the chance

or the new drunken cook
betting how long he’ll last
someone always knows their story
you know: broken marriage, that stuff

there’s an eerie feeling in a restaurant
after the customers are gone
tables, glasses wiped and
the blinky bar lights turned off
like an empty coffin

and you’re a ghost

Trying to Understand Your Depression

I hear you
-- a cloud of crying --
in a night so
black with cats
it makes me cry

for every thousand
panthers in the night
I see one jaguar and feel
I know what it is to stay
low and lean
to the ground

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