Colored Lights

Buzz Bray

Colored lights glance from the ice cubes.

I swirl my ice,

Hoping the whiskey won’t burn so much if it’s cold.

I feel.  So

My bare soul retreats into the glass.

My stomach reminds me

My soul won’t be the only thing hurting in the morning.


The businessman next to me

Loosens his tie

And his tongue,

Rants about how his marriage was ruined

By gays, women’s rights and liberals.

(What happened to the good old days?)

In the background,

Johnny Mathis sings,

And smoke gets in my eyes.


The lady two seats down

Has a run in her stocking

And in her smile.

She recounts her abandonment

And can’t stop cursing his ass,

Or wishing he’d come back.

Now Johnny’s singing “Chances Are”

I sense I am wearing a silly grin.

I feel less…it’s working.


The barkeep starts to pour another round.

How ‘bout you pal?

Oh shit yes.  Keep ‘er goin’.

Johnny sings Misty

And I feel helpless as a kitten up a tree.


I notice my shoelace has come untied

Just like my soul.

Only a few of us hardcore late-niters are left.

Barkeep calls the last round.

He turns off the music

Just as Johnny sings:

“But in the hush of night

Comes that certain smile

To haunt your heart again…..”

And I wonder:

How many broken people

                                                         I am among.

  • Author: Buzz Bray (Offline Offline)
  • Published: January 11th, 2022 22:46
  • Comment from author about the poem: Sitting in a bar trying to learn to live with divorce. The people there all seemed similar. Maybe it was the drink. Or maybe ...
  • Category: Reflection
  • Views: 13


  • Rozina

    I feel sad reading this.

    • Buzz Bray

      It was 47 years ago. Sometimes it feels like yesterday.

    • Buzz Bray

      Thank you. Sometimes alcohol narrows my vision to the tiny specifics. Strange how memories from years ago bring vivid details.

    • sorenbarrett

      Very well written. I loved the metaphors it brings many images of past occasions and leaves a feeling of not only nostalgia but melancholy. Well done

      • Buzz Bray

        I was recently divorced and lost at the time this took place. I think I am becoming more nostalgic as I age. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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