Drifting off, rain pounding the leaky roof
of the Crystal Palace, jukebox broke.
This sweltering night is all but over.
I’ll leave it in a stupor, stagger home
down busted backstreets, over broken glass,
cracked concrete, amidst the rotting remnants
of torched buildings some slumlord set
ablaze for insurance.
I try to remember better days. I look in the bar
mirror and shake my head. Those times when
going to work meant making a living not
just surviving.
This ain’t no palace in case you were
wondering. Never saw any crystal in here
either – no sparkling glassware or chandeliers.
This is just a Chi-town dive. It was named
by the crazy owner after some famous cowboy
bar in Wichita, Kansas. Wyatt Earp used to
drink there, I hear.
Most of us are just trying to make it through
the summer. Those of us who do will have to
face the winter. There ain’t no Miss
Kitty in here neither, nor anything like her.
What we got, instead, is why God invented
They’ll never fix that jukebox.


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