Lunar Libations

It looks more like
a retirement party
than a Friday night bar scene.
The yacht club members come here
resting on sabers and rattling laurels.
Three blue-hairs to my right
one of them with the white shirt
and gold bars denoting his rank of sea captain
tell fuck-stories of yore
when the bartender
half their age
is busy on the far end
mixing remedies for the elderly.
They comment on her cleavage
as she bends to wash a pint glass
pretending not to hear.
Her tip jar is the only thing
that she wants them to fill.
I laugh at one of their livelier tales
and turn my back on their debauchery.

Two old salts are seated to my left
sharing a bowl of questionable peanuts.
The shorter of the pair
a man called Moon
with a body like a crumpled receipt
for shoes hastily picked that didn't quite fit
kisses the barkeep's lapdog
and comments on the fecal smell of her breath
but continues, acting surprised
when I tell him of her sex.
"In that case...," he jests
implying the obscene
with as little regard for judgment
as he has for his own health.
He coughs into the crotch of his elbow
while his pilsner goes flat in front of him.

The taller man at his side
stares at his cohort's namesake
through the window
and reassures the establishment's proprietor
that he'll walk Moon home later on.
It sounds like it won't be the first time.
I take a swig of gin and wish for friends like that
should I make it to their age.

The barmaid's shift has slowed enough
to allow her a drink on the other side of the oak.
She sips her straight vodka inconspicuously
trying not to sit too close to my arm.
"He's a poem," I tell her
in reference to the diminutive man
with dog ass emanating from his pale countenance.
"Do you want more stories?" she asks me.
"No. Only what I see."

The cover band plays its final request
though Alabama's sweetness is far from this place.
"Look at me," Moon says to no one in particular.
"I'm still alive."

It's a relative term.
An argument could be raised in opposition
but I'd rather get lost in the reflection
of the bridge's lights on the Hudson.
Tonight, instead, we'll share a river in silence.

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