One friend tells me, his cardiologist sees problems with his A-fib. Another friend tells me, he is two weeks a new father, and I should stay in closer touch. One friend says that sobriety would add a new dimension to my life, another asks me, when we can get together for drinks.

A few of my friends seemed possessed with their new hatred and fear of woke educators grooming school kids to have sex operations, because they think they’re something they’re not. None of them know anyone this applies to, but they are sure it’s prevalent. Other of my friends point out that the last time we were all together the hate was of immigrants, the fear was of caravans, and how quickly it seems they can be groomed to hate anew.

The oldest attendee is the ex-priest who looked out for us on the way up and is now married. He was very concerned with the local paper listing sexual abusers that had been on his team and may be wrongfully accused by grifters looking for money from the church. No mention, or any apparent empathy for the thousands of children victimized in the name of the church and threatened with Hell for noncompliance… to some on the team. I’m listening and wondering what those abused would think of this rant… and this gathering.

There is a tube in the corner of the hall, the talk show host asks would you give up your best friend for a million dollars or let him sleep with your wife. My best friend wonders whether my stares are the result of empathy, love, or alcohol. He’s not having a good time, nor is he facing the TV, nor does he know it’s the drugs from his glove compartment.

You come across the room like it’s 20 years ago, with your long, bilingual brown hair, aggressive, all verb, no noun, and legs that all men follow. I have just taken a drug that is making me want to talk. Ask me poignant things about times we didn’t have, be my friend, maybe we could get out of here.



Craig R. Kirchner

Craig Kirchner thinks of poetry as hobo art, loves storytelling and the aesthetics of the paper and pen. He has had two poems nominated for the Pushcart, and has a book of poetry, Roomful of Navels. Craig houses 500 books in his office and about 400 poems in a folder on a laptop. These words tend to keep him straight. After a hiatus he was recently published in Decadent Review and several dozen other journals. Craig recommends Feed the Children.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, April 1, 2024 - 21:02