We're smoking barfront on East Main
instead of in his mother's garage
like ten years ago
the coffee can ashtray
overflowing shamefully.
His arms flail in conversation
proving his points
and that he's Italian.
He pushes his thick-rimmed glasses
back against his face
sometimes in the middle
sometimes at the edge.
I assure him that his mannerisms
haven't changed with time.
"Your laugh's the same,"
he tells me, a compliment
if true.

He built something and walked away.
He didn't profit where he prayed.
He knows about integrity.

Admire whom you're not.

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