shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

David Colodney

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The wine in Lisbon flows like technicolor waterfalls,
reds and whites for some, but we all pound
pavements for different reasons. Obvious tourists
jostle alongside workaday locals. Falling in,
a homeless man, paper cup extended to hope.

He staggers on crutches in front of this Avenida bar
pleading for coins, and the manager chases
him away. My bartender reappears, refills
my glass mumbling "bad for business" in broken
English. If I had any real conscience

or any balls at all, I'd find this man, invite him for a drink,
show off my new friend to the posh
people of this place, not that I do. I anesthetize
myself with another, and another, and walk
back to a four-star hotel over these sidewalks,
a cold and hard bed for him tonight.