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philadelphia didn’t
pay much
but they had
a nice flop above the fire station
next-door to the bar     no beds or air-
conditioning but they had
couches that smelled like piss
with bent springs
at least no one bothered us

i stumbled down stairs for
more beer and
returned to the sound
of  Screamin’ Jay
on the juke
i thought it was
a place where a man might
likely get stabbed
for saying the
wrong thing
to the wrong guy

the Chinese joint across
the street had bulletproof glass
between the floor and the register
and they sold cheap cigars

some black kid walked in and asked
me if i wanted to buy some dope
i said no.

there were no women around
and no seats on the toilets(at the bar)
but the flop was free

they didn’t pay much but
the flop was free

in one of the back rooms i found
the guts of a piano and i strummed it
like a sick
dinosaur harp
while i ate my eggrolls
and drained a beer.

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