Another Last Chance Bar

The waterfall on the beer sign flickers
whenever the register drawer is slammed shut
or a truck goes by, banging past us
on its way to one of the coasts. Outside
it is at least a hundred degrees everywhere.
Distant horizons shimmer beyond the country
music on the battered radio. Sam says
he bought the place because his wife said
it was her lucky spot. She left after a year
with a bible salesman in a chevy or
a guitar player in a sports car. Whichever
it was she won’t be back and the letters
she didn’t write appear in his eyes
sometimes when he has to throw an obnoxious
drunk into the heat. He opens early
and closes early, dusts his racks
of souvenirs and postcards and catches
rattlesnakes in the desert and keeps them
in a glass box at the end of the bar until
they die. They all die. Their last view
of this world, a flickering waterfall on
a beer sign and a room full of drunks.