Tale of Two Pints

A few gulps of Early Times sloshed
in my pocket pint and prayers for will
to down it went unanswered
so I placed it gently on a park bench
as if a bad winged bird
for someone with greater powers.

The temp was minus four and two feet
of snow heckled Washington, D.C.
Crottus had a new eagle tattoo
and a hole in one shoe.
I’d chickened out of an inking
but my feet were better off
in new wingtips.

Hangovers and failure
to charm any women in a city
famed for its surplus made
the stormy ambush routine.

We had bus tickets back to the base
and cash enough for a bowl
each of chicken noodle soup:
extra Saltines to eat with ketchup later.
Worried what the Navy had in store
if we returned to Norfolk late
intensified our agony.

Boarding the Greyhound
at midnight was almost
better than sex but
I regretted no image,
of at least a tiny anchor
healing on my forearm.

Not long after in Manhattan
we acted like sailors again
absent snow or delay.
Crottus got laid but not me.

The bus nearly empty,
we each had a window
cooled by the night
for a pillow.

I kept my NYC pint.
What remained swished
about in a remorseless
and comforting way
oddly reminding me
of a beautiful woman I’d seen
in a movie whirling
brandy in a come hither

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