In the Dim Red Light of a New Mexico Dive Bar

See through the smoke and spot those hazy Autumn eyes
Every fallen leaf is another year gone by
Trying to turn back time and forget about the lies
But the world refuses to forget
The seasons change
But the world, it won’t forget.

Neither do I.

See you through the mirror
Looking just like the photographs you showed me years ago
Just another reprint of the imitation
Like everyone else in the room you know
You bring the cigarette to your lips – pale pink from rubbed off lipstick
Knees vaguely wobbly
Face wondering if you’ll be sick

“I thought I’d never see you here.” You mutter, to me or not at all
Perhaps it’s just the thick nicotine perfumed air
You stumble once, then twice – and I reach to grab you before you fall
“Do you know how many times I tried to call?”

I look down at you and realize I don’t recognize the hair, or the piercings, or the clothes you wear that you used to hate
I don’t recognize the beat poet friends falling out the front door with men smoking cloves and wearing turtlenecks even though they promised to wait
But still the same are those Autumn eyes I always knew, still perched in the same still silent sadness
crying tears that roll down your cheeks
to the floor beneath us
It never changed – what you were running from never left
For the world refuses to forget.

I held you for five minutes
No longer
before I returned you to your chair and I walked out the backdoor
to rid myself of the angsty overly introspective menthol air
I didn’t know if you were drunk
or if you’d even remember me in the morning
If you’d recall me crying softly
and telling you I was sorry.
But you are who you are now
And I’m all set to go
You may forget me in the morning
Yet I remember your eyes – cursed to always know

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