Local Men

Travis Wayne Denton

BPR 39 | 2012


They're the ones you read about in the papers,
Never good news. For Example: Local Man, Found Face Down
In His Teriyaki at Bill's Lucky Buddha, Foul Play Suspected.

Look around, gaggles of local men,
Just waiting to be picked off — thrown in the back
Of a rusted-out Buick (said car last seen speeding
Away from the Circle K). Hog tied, drugged, stripped,
And left on Main Street. Local men aimed
For blunt force trauma of all kinds — you name it,
A 2x4 will do the job, candelabra, a length of iron pipe.

Wrong turns, blown red lights, each turn of the key
Has hurried them here, yet still they appear surprised
When the strange car pulls up beside them
As they exit the wash-o-mat.
Their checkered pasts, like a one-legged runner, lap them.
They are lost wallets, keys that just go missing — lives
Summed up in two inches of newsprint.
They are not the last of the Mohicans.
Not the last dodo to lie down somewhere on the back forty.
But, a brown coat, scuffed shoes, a partial thumbprint,
A moustache, sitting on a bar stool
In a local bar who none of the other locals notice
Until the cops show up with photo asking
Have you seen this man?