One never tires of the old tonks in Texas.
Tonight, while hunting for a souvenir,
I chased my second whiskey with a beer
and overheard a man whose girlfriend’s Lexus—
the one he bought—keeps turning up around
his son’s apartment. “Cooper, you can quote
me here. I’ll slit that little bastard’s throat.”
I laughed and ordered them another round.
“Something funny, stranger?”
“Well,” I said,
“I’ve heard that line before. It’s seldom true.”
He shot his Scotch and threw
the tumbler. “C’mon Coop. This place is dead.”
They skipped their tab and stumbled to his truck.
My dear, drunk Abraham—I wish you luck.
Michael Shewmaker is the recent winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and author of Penumbra (Ohio UP, 2017). His poems recently appear or are forthcoming in Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Sewanee Review, Poetry Daily, Parnassus, Oxford American, Narrative, and elsewhere. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he is a Jones Lecturer in poetry at Stanford University.