Don’t try

By Chantal Kamphausen

It’s after midnight

and I’ve been sitting here for hours

watching the drops of water

running down another half-drunk bottle of beer

my cigarettes are long gone

and so are the poor bastards

who stumbled in by accident

in hopes of a good time

but no one comes in here for fun

the life-worn, impassive faces of the regulars

tell as much

when the music fades

you can hear the old tales

of poverty, failure and loneliness

mixed with the sweet rhythm

of bottles and glasses hitting the counter

I’ve lost count of the many nights

I spent on this very stool

trying to escape my fate

only to catch a glimpse

of the barkeeper

shaking his head

in an attempt to say:

‘Don’t try, it’s not worth it!‘

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