Every Broken Thing

A Sober Affair
The Poetry Of Lance McKnight
A Sober Affair
That knowing smile, the slightest of grins,
in your last photo. Like a fly in the reader's glass -
the joke is the vintage, not the insect. You knew
just how much time remained, didn't you? The way
you ran your ass ragged from class to class
then off again with some enamored poet for yet another

nightly romp. Followed by your hurried dash down
the mountain, scampering back from a desperate search
for parking; hair disheveled, leather vest a second skin
that always coughed up another smoke as you
desperately gasped, "anyone have a match?"

Darkened bags under your eyes, as if being perfected
for that one last picture. Odor glommed onto you,
your morning smell of no sleep or shower,
tar and nicotine stale - quite bothersome to some
as you would excitedly waft to and fro. Even now,

I hear your voice ooze out like Bird pushing forth
a mourning phrase, the flow and inflection - waves
against a battered shore. Horns blaring loud
in crowded midnight streets and the wind but a pause.
Until the next riff engages and carries you finally away.

                                                         for William Matthews