Wayne F. Burke

Closing Time

and George, the bartender
shuts me off
and I throw my handful of coins
down behind the bar
and some guy
a stranger in town
cracks wise and
I try and sucker punch him
but miss
and he hits me twice as
two of his friends grab my arms
and the guy bashes a billiard ball down
on my skull–
“fuck this,” I say to myself and
throw both guys off
as WHOOSH
WHOOSH my buddy Leno with
a pool cue, swinging it like
a baseball bat
breaks the billiard-ball guy’s arm
as a cop
runs in
spraying mace from a can
and everyone, six of us
are brought to the
Police Station where
I am allowed to sleep
in a bed in the break room,
instead of in a cell
because
my Uncle
is mayor of the
rinky-dink town.

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