She smelled like puke and a bar, and childhood; / where love is a dozen thoughtless handouts, / and old women you don't know ask your name, / and slip you money rotting with perfume, / like your parents are children that left them, / and you're all they have, and they're all you have. / Smiles like that, on the bus down Seventh Avenue. / She smells like my ex-step-father's girlfriends, / barmaids that laughed like porch paint and bourbon, / and looked at you like you were more of the same. / You and your friends and your miserable hopes. / She'd seen your type before, and wouldn't budge. / They all came into the bar, with a bulge.


orignally published  in The Brooklyn Rail