Last Call at the Hypothetical Tavern
You taste like the fine wine I would have had
if I’d reached the hypothetical tavern in time. Your hair
catches the light like the row of bottles behind the bar
and your eyes glint neon, roses and purples aglow
where the power runs, electrons jumping
the way patrons do when someone slips a coin
in the jukebox, the one that would have stood
against the wall some ambitious beer-monger
would have built if she’d thought of it before
the galaxy spun out of control. Little sips
at last call, nursing the mist of imaginary liquor
in a glass made of memory, I slide a fake twenty
across the artificial wood to the grasping fingers
of a nightmare. Your smile curves like a slice
of planet’s ring, a thin line of ice bent by gravity’s pull.
You whisper a name we’ve both forgotten, a secret
woven of tears and dread, and wink out of existence—
how like you, to leave me in shadow, hands empty
and damp where a drink just tumbled
out of the world, and a heart would have broken
if it still beat at all.
Shy and nocturnal, Jennifer Crow has rarely been photographed in the wild, but it’s rumored that she lives near a waterfall in western New York. You can find her poetry on several websites, including Goblin Fruit, Uncanny, Mythic Delirium, Eye to the Telescope, and Mithila Review. She’s always happy to connect with readers on her Facebook author page or on twitter @writerjencrow.