Those Who Matter
by Brady Peterson

People who rub elbows with the noted
among us—meet at bars, drink vodka martinis
and tell stories so much more interesting
because they are—so much more,
while you and I are emptied here

with beer and a decent reposado—brisket
smoked all day, haunted by lyrics sung
on the radio during the war—Floyd sings
to Vera and we drown awake. A bee stings
you between your front teeth,

your lip swells as big as a melon.
No one understands why I love the Cantos,
you say. Yet they embrace that bastard
Eliot. The Chisholm ran through here,
I offer, as if rutted limestone were poetry.

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