Liv Barnes is poet of the week beginning the 27th February
They speak their secrets in slurs
wipe off bad memories on the back of their sleeves
taking off caps as I open a bottle
they tell me their troubles with a glass half full.
Everyday, the usual.
You can find bright eyes in the dim light of this old bar
hear clinking of jars, that’s the key to unlocking them.
They spill out their innards on the tables
the stories they tell the stools are my favourite fables.
They engage in conversation with the walls
mutters and murmurs welcomed by all four.
It’s easier to stare at them than half reflections of one another sat around
If a man breaks down in a bar and no one hears do they make a sound?
These weather worn men grow roots here with time
counting liquid rings on the wood, tell their age in the lines.
Old souls who never looked for any glory or gold
Just sitting back on worn out thrones now moulded to weight they carry in chests.
Arms on rests and legs under the table, these guys are part of the furniture.
Quietly saying their prayers with heads pressed against beer mats,
Fingers facing the sun.
Drinking golden liquid only fit for Gods
you could say that churches can come in more forms than one.
The dregs off the bottle imitate priests
as they listen to confessions that pour from mouths.
Fighters remove their fingers from glass necks
as they hear the bell ring for the final round.
Searching their pockets
Counting out last blessings
Handing over money
I never see their change.
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