Borrowed – Sean Bolton

 Sad boys in bars smile
in unexpected ways.
A kindness that is foreign
to these beautiful scenes.
Disconnected, a sad boy
draws slowly from his beer,
and then a cigarette. Matrices of
smoke’s confusion litter the air.
Ask her.

Waitresses are polite, bending
at the hip to pour from pitchers
with absent smiles. We drink these
in with music, pointless as
weeping. Some night soon
a waitress may dream
a sad boy’s eyes, unrecognized,
perhaps in the face of a lover.
She’ll move in her sleep.
Hum quietly: a desire to
come home, and to be
held for the first time.
Ask her.

A sad boy watches a waitress
through rills of cigarette smoke.
Not even his. Borrowed.
He looks at a clock, thinks,
“Maybe.” and “Time.”
Watches a small house in
the smoke fade. He swipes
a hand through the air.
Another stranger will have
another cigarette. This one
is burned down to the filter.

Micheal S BoltonSean Bolton received an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from Arizona State University. He currently teaches in the English Department at Santa Fe College. He has previously published poems in journals such as, Mad Hatters’ Review, The Gambler, and Otoliths. His chapbook, A Passion, was published by Gold Wake Press.