Sipping a Bud in the He’s Not Here Club
It made the cowboys nervous
when the cowgirls began
dancing with each other;
there were so many cowboys
willing and available.
When the cowgirls persisted
the cowboys became morose.
Even today many sit bitterly alone
or simply dumbfounded
in dimly-lit roadhouses
Every so often a certain expression
will creep or romp across her face
revealing something else about her
that she doesn’t want known. “It’s
what you get for harboring so many
secrets,” he good-naturedly chides.
“Someday, like those dancers at the Gentleman’s
Club, you’ll be totally exposed.” “That
isn’t funny and neither is this,” she advises,
sweeping up the pieces of a favorite vase
he knocked over tiptoeing in earlier this morning.
“You break everything you touch,” she tells him.
But when he touches her later she appears to remain intact.
Larry Rogers is a singer/songwriter. Growing up, he lived for a while in Berkeley and Compton, California, but was mostly raised in a potting shed trailer in the piney woods of west central Arkansas--a sanctuary for moonshiners, marijuana growers, and merry (and not-so-merry) pranksters. His poems and stories have appeared in Misfit, Hanging Loose, Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, Rattle, Wormwood Review, and The Denver Post. He lives with his wife in Fort Smith, Arkansas.