Hookah Bar

She sat outside a hookah bar


small place in the center of

a low income district

sipping ice tea spiked with

shots of rum she’d

bought for

99 cents

a liquor store

with bars on the windows

she blew smoke rings that

came out like puff balls and

ate cheap

over-salted curry

sirens sang beyond

a tagged and tattered stop sign

examined from

behind the tint

of too large shades

the chairs were black iron and they

hurt her ass

after awhile

she nursed the hose anyway

readjusting every so often

she’d get sick

off the stuff and the alcohol

causing her to slump and

go pale

the cramps in her stomach

made her want to vomit

she did

drawing dour expressions

phlegm coated tongue

stringing from

made up lips to

gastric mess beside her

withdrawing a pack of cigarettes

packing them

between painted hands

beginning to chip

placing one

in her mouth

lighting it


she’s been here too long

wants to go home


nobody’s there and

she gets lonely

gets dark

takes another drag off the hose


catching a cab

tells him to take her to

a coffee shop

near her place

orders a venti

heads outside

leaning against a brick wall

staring at street lamps

walks down the street

people pass in file

gaze averted

angled down

comes to her complex

heads in through

large doors and

up a flight of stairs

enters her apartment

goes to the washroom

raids the open medicine cabinet

a bottle


paces to bedroom

takes a handful

washes it down with

white wine from

the night stand

turns on tv

lies on bed

haze of sleep creeps on


the blind spot

of her


her last thought

before fading out

i’m still hungry

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