Hard rain pummels panes of glass while wet rings take
residence where our drinks once bled out
onto the hardwood bar while we waited for the next
2:19 out of each other’s minds. For good.
Behind the counter, a Marilyn Monroe nibbles on her
pencil, then jots down some digits and
a smiley face near the namesake of this restaurant
at the end of our worlds. If there were a
Baby Grand in this joint, it would have quit for lack of
a piano man that can keep her amused amidst
dead conversations in slang only drunks and dead
movie stars can muster any meaning out of.
After the damage is done, there’s seldom a smile, and
the only digits are those ball and chained to
the cost of a steak and eggs special, plus tax, no tip, and
jukeboxes all out of order. I fumble in 5¢
just to shuffle through the squeaky tabs; I marvel to see
Springsteen’s Born to Run still making the cut.
That’s how you know you’re in Jersey, I wince toward the
vacant swivel stool beside me, and by the time
the chairs are stacked, someone else foots my bill. Again.
Y’think the rain’s gawna stop anytime soon? asks
Ms. Monroe, apron tossed, legs crossed. She dims the
lights. Somewhere, a piano man cries for his Baby.
Every Monday, GJC will be sharing a poem from John T. Trigonis, a local JC Heights resident, poet, writer, and coffee aficionado, in our Monday Musings.