After the Opening of La Fiesta

Laughing and stumbling
like sailors too long at sea,
who suddenly must realign their gravity
to the stillness of shore,
like conquering matadors,
their legs still weak from the thrill
of their toreador jousts,
they returned through the door,
propelled by the smoke
and musky fire of consumed mescal,
their voices filled with the gaiety of life,
exuberant and freed from any commitment
to coherence.

And around their necks,
like Jacob Marley’s shackles,
the emptied shot glass souvenirs
announced their arrival –
not as chains forged
through a long and meaningless life,
but rather a triumphant rattling of swords,
proclaiming yet another victorious challenge
to the still sober.

And then,
with a quick stumble to the waiting stool,
one lights a clumsy cigarette
and laughs,
tossing a collection
of imprinted plastics and colored string
on the bar —
“We came, we saw,
we just had to have one in every color.”

09 FEB 2002

This poem was written after hearing of the adventures of two friends from the local bar who attended a gala opening for a new Mexican restaurant in town. Free Sauza shot glasses, appetizers, and margaritas were consumed in abundance.

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