About the Time I Met Him First
Jon Cone

He hates all lukewarm. Walks to the river
to stare into the water. He likes cold days best
to stand firm on a tagged bridge. On main street:
a tailor,  a pharmacy, one restaurant, the local rag,
a shop where bridal gowns limp, a hardware and
variety, two taverns. He likes the taverns best.
At closing when he exits either A or B the bridal
gowns they get to him. He likes store windows okay
when sobered. Otherwise, not too much.
On walks

he rages to his self alone. The country at war
something he cannot leave apart. His knees
ache like veterans. He visits the hilltop graves,
hard corroded gate he stubs his head against.
Then bays and taps his cudgel on his tin dog's
brow. And in the nearby axle tree large crows
unlike crows he recalls from the dust where
he first tipped fondly from Pa's broke-dick truck.
By any standard a failure and a choir, a moon
above an emergency of  rolling pennies.
He meets a taxidermist. She's nice,
like wax lips.