Home Base: Part II

[For A.C.]

Robbie has a tattoo of you on his chest now.
None of us ever went to see that band again.
We all move slower. Little Sonny is bigger now,
he still likes good music. Clair is alone by choice.

Every night she puts Little Sonny to bed and tucks herself in.

She thinks about you and Little Sonny and about Little Sonny’s father.
She thinks maybe everyone will leave her. She unplugs her alarm clock

by the cord. Robbie and your roommates
still live in the same apartment, still use
the same bathroom. Your old disco ball
is still used daily, mostly in silence.

Right now there is a line out the door at Home Base.

We are ditching our flag and heading back into the rain.

You are leading us out the door, towards an after party
at some nearby underground club. We walk right in.

Mac is in his element, putting on a face, meeting strangers.
Cheddar is buying more beer because he looks the oldest.

Soon Cheddar will come back with a cigarette in his mouth,
five beers between his fingers. The band looks different
in person, kind of dorky actually, hair down to their knees,
faces hidden, moving like freaks. To the right of the stage

some kid is dancing in his boxers,
clothes scattered around his feet
and making out with the speaker,
eyes closed and rubbing his belly.

To the left of the stage, there are two girls dancing;
one with olive skin, one blonde wearing only overalls.

Every five seconds they almost kiss, grabbing each other
by the hips or the hair and pulling closer. Olive skin reaches
down into the blonde’s overalls, before finally pulling apart
and tucking her nipple back into her tank top. She walks over,
you say, “I’m Sonny”, and the two of you disappear
to a booth in the back of the club.

We meet outside after the sun comes up and walk to Grand Central Station.
We wait and smoke cigarettes in front of tourists. Everyone is tired but

none of us can bear the loneliness of falling asleep.

We finally catch the train out of the city,
to the parking lot where we parked the van.

Turns out we accidentally left a window open, and last night’s rain
soaked the driver’s seat. Robbie yawns and says, “That’s life I guess,
could always be worse. Let’s get home”.

The license plate on the truck parked in front of us reads, “IDIE4HER”.

On the ride home we are forced to stay awake
because everyone else is driving too fast.

At the first rest area, you stay in the van,
pull your hat over your eyes and try to nap.

When we return from inside you are sitting in the driver’s seat,
two hands on the wheel. You drive the speed-limit the whole way

home, so the rest of us can finally sleep.

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