You sipped one water drink after another
to the tune of stark laughter echoing under the bar’s rafters.
Some of the men stared your way, and you fretted.
But that was yesterday, for you’d learn to dance alone anyway.
The bar closed with the pickings slim.
You are so relieved you’re not like them.
The desperate grab your crotch on a whim.
The air, suddenly freed of cigarette smoke, rushes into your lungs as if to choke,
But your scoff in your drying sweat soak.
A few blocks more of P Street, NW:
there at the end is an empty bench to rest
where late at night, alone with no one, is best.
Cars and Metrobuses revolve around you.
Then you close your eyes against the chill’s yen.
You yawn, and you are no longer young again.
A journey you’ll never forget.
ROAD WORK AHEAD: Poems
In his fourth poetry collection Road Work Ahead, Raymond Luczak sets out on a turbulent journey after ending a 15-year relationship. As he meets kindred souls on his travels, Luczak wonders what it means to love again. He opens the suitcase of his heart in far-flung cities and points beyond. His poems, pungent with musk and ache, will open yours too.