We know the snap of lighters
and the crack of ice very well.
Lost souls, who hang around bars
detained by soundless televised news,
fried appetizers and what's on tap. At least
it's something to talk over.
We embrace cigarette smoke,
the only thing that clings.
These days after work the only person
this group wants to see is the bartender.
She knows our names.
There's no explanation.
Occasionally, a guy shows up
who tells us jokes
we've heard before.
Eager to laugh,
we go too easily along.