Applebee’s Hotel Bar: Boca Raton, Florida

By Michelle Brooks

A man walks into a bar.
He tells me this isn’t a joke,
that he wants to obliterate
the past week. The week no
longer exists except in himself
so that’s where he begins. He
forgoes the chicken quesadillas
for shot after shot of Jim Beam.
He means business. I don’t know
what went wrong, and before
long, neither does he. He’s not
from here. None of us are. This
is the river from which we drink
and wonder how we can sing
the songs of Zion in a foreign
land. People call this place God’s
waiting room, but isn’t everywhere?


Michelle Brooks has published a collection of poetry, “Make Yourself Small,” (Backwaters Press), and a novella, “Dead Girl, Live Boy,” (Storylandia Press). A native Texan, she has spent much of her adult life in Detroit, her favorite city.


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