We hadn’t seen him in several weeks
until there he was, alone on a bar stool,
looking thinner, paler, sipping whiskey.
He ignored the regulars playing pool.
The jukebox country music. His lyre
was missing. The next stool sat empty.
When asked what happened to what’s-her-name,
his shoulders sank. His faith expired.
I turned my back, he said wiping his eyes.
A few drunks nodded saying they understood.
The bartender brought him another rye.
It was clear she was gone for good.
It was written on his face. A haunted look
leading down to a bottomless place.
By Chris Banks