Regular Poem: Poor Old Kay Pierce

5 Apr

One of the best things
is that his stories are better–
cohesive, vivid;
the good parts
don’t get lost
in some air of drunken mystery,
aren’t muddled and half told
with a condescending smirk.

No, there’s
real pathos
now
and urgency
and action.

And he knows–
and actively indulges–
my proclivities
for the bizarre
and especially
for sassy ladies
and also for unnecessary details
and mundane rituals
and distracting sidebars.

Yes, I want to know
what engine was in his patrol car
in 1979.
Yes, I want to know why the wino
was carrying $2500 cash that was then stolen.
Yes, I want to know why badass ’80s policewoman Kay Pierce
hated the city’s work comp doctor.

And I don’t–
any longer–
have to sift through
inebriated obfuscation
to get it.

Because–
maybe–
in his sobriety he knows also
that I’m here
because I like to be here
instead of–
maybe–
drunkenly suspecting
I was there
out of duty, obligation
and so
he had to keep me
in any protracted way
he could manage.

We laugh
so much together
because he’s so sharp
and he taught me to be sharp, too,
and so now
here we are
sharp together.
And it’s as new as it is old.

“Poor old Kay Pierce,”
he begins,
and I smile and wait.
There’s no prompting
to keep the story in line,
no bright light to shine in the interrogation room,
no roadmap to point to when there are wrong turns.

Just people
just talking
just sharing
just living.

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