“Ace of Spades” by Adam Tedesco

We’re explaining the pain away
Swapping shots
We’ve known each other five minutes
Comparing dope stamps
Bad Medicine, back in 97
That’s the one that got me
It feels nice to be here now
The cook telling me things get better
Drowning in the jukebox together
Laughing about magic and loss
About the way we are

We’ve known each other one hour
He asks me when I knew I loved you
When the prayers stopped working
I tell him as he unties his apron
Bar room shorthand for how
I’m trying to rid my head of you
Contemplating the bad parts of you
The stink of these
Coming up empty often
Finding them perfect

We’ve known each other ninety minutes
We’re speaking loud with hands
How his old lady kicked him out
After the last binge
Drumming on the bar
Singing Hank and Merle
Killing what’s left of business

Last call now
Stools going up
I realize I am the cook
I can fry you dinner
Extract the jungle’s light through an iced pane
Watch god dancing toward me through you

I’m walking home knowing
I can’t make any of it stop

Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, a telephone technician, and cultural critic for the now-disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, decomP, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Similar:Peaks::, Cartridge Lit, and the anthology Again I Wait For This To Fall Apart, published by FreezeRay Press. He lives in Albany, NY with his wife and two children.

Image: “Boss Distortion DS-1,” from Buddy Beaudoin’s Pedalsmut Series

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