I did not rise when they arrived, nor did they make any effort. You can’t make old friends, and you can’t make them come to you. They pretended not to see me tucked back in my spot trying to flag down beer, perspiring beneath the Corona lamp and the rafter upon which is scrawled “PhAT wAS hER” followed by an illustration of titties followed by the year they were phat enough to earn the poet’s Sharpie.
Phat was her [titties] 2013.
The bartender scarcely saw me here despite how I glistened in my patina of sweat. She was sweating tonight, too, hawking to a hard-drinking funeral crowd. A woman’s shirt among them bore a series of Latin ampersands across its front, some of which looked at first like fat-jowled men in wigs, or pigs thinking.
I looked again at the rafter. The illustrated titties metamorphosed into a mere E, uppercase. “PhAT wAS hER E 2013.” The poet had kerning issues. I looked to the next rafter, then the bartop, the ATM, the bathroom door. Others had been here. Eric in 2010. F in 2003. Both Mara and Sc*tt as recently as 2017.