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Marcella's Fantasy House

Nights at this place
he drank beer after beer.
His gut rolled
like a melon on the felt.
He said he could beat any of us
and mostly he was right. He played us
for quarters so he could feed
his thing for Hank and Willie
on the one juke box.

Paydays he wanted his winnings
in shots, so he could get drunk enough
to visit this redhead dancer
at the stage. He put nearly all
his pay between her breasts, then he kissed
the bruised air, because he knew,
like we did, that was all of her

he was going to have. Then he sat
by himself on a stool
and punched the air, a round against
the guy who stole
his old lady in Tuscaloosa, one against
the foreman we hated at the plant.
Against the no new love
and the no new luck
and every night nothing
he hadn't seen before.

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