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Charles Rammelkamp

Detox Confessional

"I was six-four, a hundred and twenty,"

Danny told the interns.

"A bartender.  I had the perfect job

for a cocaine addict.


"You see, we could drink

all we wanted,

but after a while,

I'd get kind of sloppy,

sloshing somebody's highball

when I set it down on the bar,

knocking over the coffee cup

we kept the lime wedges in.


"But with a few lines of coke

under my skull?

I could go all night,

quick, efficient, agile,

the life of the party,


"until I woke up next day,

my head pounding

like I had a SWAT team in there

breaking down the walls of my head."



Nancy could have kicked herself for her indiscretion,

mentioning to her boyfriend Sonny

the old guy at the bank, Mister Hughes,

one of the regular Tuesday customers,

inviting her out to lunch last week.


It had been an innocent date,

Mister Hughes old as her grandfather,

a delightful meal in a posh restaurant

she’d never have been able 

to afford on her own.


“We can use this to our advantage,”

Sonny said, eyeballs like cherries

rolling in a slot machine

to a sensational jackpot.

“A lonely old guy

sniffing after the young stuff.”


“It’s not like that!” Nancy protested.

“He’s just a sweet old man.

Leave him alone, Sonny!”


“Riiiiight,” Sonny replied,

the calculations still spinning in his eyes.

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