It’s Sunday afternoon and that’s better than a lot of things,
I’m at Vesuvio drinking beer
and crushing on the pretty waitress.
There’s a portrait of Baudelaire on the wall
above my table
and he frowns down upon me with his angry loneliness
and I can see his sad heart shining
through his chest and I guess I’m much the same.
He says, if you would not feel
the horrible burden of time
forever crushing you to the earth
you must always be drunk!
I tell him I’m doing the best I can,
currently intoxicated with wine
and the pretty waitress with my drinks
while down in Kerouac Alley there’s the gentleman with the tie
who stands all day trying to sell newspapers
to the tourists and the pretty girls
who summarily ignore him
and he never seems to mind.
I glance down from my upstairs seat
by the window and he waves and smiles
and I wave and smile
and we seem to share a secret understanding
about what exactly, I couldn’t say.
When I leave I give him
all the dollars in my pocket
like I do most every Sunday
and he smiles and I smile
and I wish drunkenness
on the both of us
as I make my way home
through Chinatown crowds,
every face some kind of prayer.