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Cigarettes and Loose Change

Cigarettes and Loose Change 
         by Edmund Siejka


On a late afternoon
There was a stillness 
When nothing seemed to move.

Listless and sort of down
I knew a bar
Squeezed in between non- descript buildings.

Hesitating I stood outside
Searching the gray lifeless windows
When the bar’s neon light
Beckoned. 

Behind the dark oak bar
She was taking inventory
Fingers lightly
Touching each bottle of
Bottom shelf
Bar brands
Behind me on the walls
Were photos of the old time fighters
From the time before I was born

I ordered the house Bourbon
Grimacing, I felt it burning down.
Then I asked
Last time we spoke
You said you might be heading out?
I was she said
Still leaving?
She answered,
Maybe. 
It could be any day now. 

I quietly sipped my drink
At the far end of the bar
Shadows moved 
Narrow eyes 
Pretending not to see.


Leaning forward she whispered
The owner lets them
Hang out in the back
Smoking cigarettes and carrying on 
They’re OK
But take my advice
Don’t leave any loose change on the bar.

Staring into her eyes
I found himself 
Wishing that I knew more of her   
There was something about the way she moved  
That made me forget where I was.

Soon, I only had
A few crumpled bills 
Left in my jeans
Leaving a tip on the bar
I pushed my stool back 
The scraping sound 
Made her turn around
Her hazel eyes meeting mine
And for a solitary heart beat
We were one.

Suddenly there was the sound of broken glass
Angrily she went to the back
Alone, I knew the moment 
We had 
Was somehow taken away from me
And I didn’t have the courage 
To convince a pretty girl to stay.


Copyright © Edmund Siejka | Year Posted 2022

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Date: 5/26/2022 7:03:00 PM

I really like this one. The storyline and setting combine for a great read. John

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