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