He's seen war, hurricanes, famine,
death metastasized. He laughs.
He's holding a beer. "Love
is the only thing that can break me!"
It still breaks me too. I haven't
seen what he has, but probably will.
He married a musician, a jazz singer
from Austin, bird-boned and reedy-voiced
and apparently not ready to watch him
catalogue the vanishing points of the earth:
"I think she's in Toledo or somewhere out there now."
He moved into a studio apartment near mine,
where each of us barely live. He's been shot at, never hit.
No one's pointed a gun at me. He orders
another round and asks what's on the jukebox
and tells me to go talk to the blonde by the door.
I don't. I'm fine. I think of what pain is
and how it looks on paper. I'm not sure he does anymore.
I see him smile. His name is Jim.