If It Looks Like a Duck
and It Walks Like a Duck
Then It Must Be a Fucking Duck


I.

There's a regular staggering near the dart machine at the Old Miami.

"He's a Viet Nam Vet," the hillbilly barmaid mouthed to me
when I asked her what was wrong with him.

The bar's scarred mahogany reminds me of an altar where I used to kneel.

I file in with the lonely.

Jukebox eyes pretend to focus on the captions beneath cop shows.

No scenario drives a sunflower through my liar map.

I'm a liar, but it's probably safe to say
that the study of geography is just a map and a good memory,
yet, tonight, my recall wobbles like a red headed slut
stepping & restepping, misaligned jazz squares
across the hip scotch pattern of a library's carpeting.

I scavenge dimes for her at last call, regretting nickels plopped into collection plates.
I proceeded toward the single shot of blood.

I used to feed the ducks stale bread after church.

The collared ones caused my mind to prism.

II.

To say, as Murdestine said, after work this afternoon,
that if it looks like a duck
& it walks like a duck then it must be
that a duck is a duck,
contradicts my attempts at reason.

I avoid consequences like those at the Old Miami turn a cheek to the regular.

Anti-propaganda bumper stickers & patches for Green Party candidates
spin behind the bar as if on a roulette wheel.

This regular is a duck, I think, unlike us
who will wake in the morning
hung over, at worst,
with the somewhat memory
of Smokey Robinson on the wrestling machine
fluffing open our red wings.

III.

Question:

if it looks like a heart
and it throbs like a heart
than it must be one fucking heart?

I drank hard when the farmer left.

I'm only telling you this because I think that you can relate:

You phantom this bar where we're all
fucked up, like ducks who are
drunk who waddle like
ducks or
like they are hearts, er
ducks ... I fucking must be ...

        - Erin Knowles
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