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Outside the VIP Room of Club Private Grief photo

You vanish behind the velvet rope.
Goodbye! It’s almost closing. Barbacks
full-nelson the plush stools. I watch one
set down her palette of hunter green
Heinekens clinking like the Pleiades.
She flips a stool on the bar like a lamb
lassoed by his ankles, bleating on his back.
At our feet: Friday night’s forest floor
of coasters and bar-brack. I’m so tired.
The lights turn on—the elegant herd
edging for the exit. Maybe this wait
is the work of my life: to escort you
to the night’s perimeter, and stand there.


image: Aaron Burch