Madison, New Jersey, 800 Miles from Home
Everyone else had east coast accents
that summer of apprenticeship. Sweltering
dorm rooms and sidelong glances for the Kentucky boy
who had mostly acted on bare, black box stages
and in the barn, telling his father “I’d love to learn to shoot.”
Anything to pass. Anything for applause, really,
just a couple of beer bottles on the top of a fence.
Set them up, see what happens.
Just a small transgression, down the road.
The bouncer sees him watching
men play pool, sees him watching him play
Spot the Outsider, lets him stay past closing.
“I’d love to learn to shoot,” he lies, again,
ring slipped into bluejeans pocket. “Set them up,
let’s see what happens.”