Willie Smith

Bleared ’68

Things aren’t so good at home. 
So, when Dad conks out, 
after the doorslamming, wallpunching, 
dogkicking, hysterical cursing ceases, 
I steal the keys and cross the river to D.C.; 
to drink legally in topless bars, 
ordering zombies,
ogling bored sluts tease. 
So far this year they (not the dancers) 
shoot King, Bobbie, thousands of soldier boys; 
LBJ throws in the towel; war rages distantly, 
televized in your face.
My draft card, despite turned eighteen 
last October, in lieu of 1-A, reads: 1-SH; 
standing NOT for: One Shit Head.
My keenest memory 
from that blear called ’68: 
find myself stopped at a light; 
wee hour, road empty. 
Crack the door; 
tilt chin over asphalt;
copiously bepuke the 
double-yellow. Contemplate, under 
a foot from my nose, rejected booze. 
Light strobes green. Wrestle door 
shut; right self in seat; hands 
discover wheel.
Cruise the ununderstandable night, a 
drunk and very lucky warm bucket of spit. 
Jumpcut to carport; exit vehicle; 
stagger inside split-level 
upstairs to bed, 
Dad’s vodka snores strangling the dark; 
Mom, beside the breadwinner, 
tortured, drowsing. 
Amazingly – credits rolling – 
hero pinned as me – 
spinning in my room off to sleep – 
fail to focus enough to masturbate, 
for once in a moon super and blue.  

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