Nobody in the history of the town I’m in

has ever hated it as much as the man

sitting at the red Dunkin’ Donuts table

in front of mine talking to someone

on his iPhone, and no one has ever used

the word fuck as much, in the space

of maybe five minutes thirty-something times.

He hates this fucking town, his fucking job,

and really hates the fucking people of the town,

who won’t give him the fucking time of day.

And that’s only four. But you get the idea.

For a while, enduring his first barrage of fucks,

I was in a dark place myself, but mercifully,

the man snapped have a good day, asshole

and rang off, if that’s the phrase any more,

and then just sat there in a black funk

mumbling to himself, fuck prevalent of course.

Then he left, and the only other time I can

remember having been so grateful, so filled

with at least the hope for hope was when I read

that Fats Waller had died the year I was born,

that beautiful black fat man hitting his stride,

tickling the ivories all the way into a great beyond.

Now tell me, what Guinness record-setting string

of Latinate vulgarities can undo such synchronicity?

Bless him, I say. Bless that cursed and cursing man.







Photo by Steve Schroeder