Unhappy Hour
Unhappy light hors d'oeuvres, Ocean Park at day's end
where the sun claws its way down a cyclone fence,
the asphalt falters, and plastic bags, longing for the Sargasso
try to wrench themselves from the grasp of thorns.
In the sky, just one cloud, yellowish, stranded.
Unhappy biking past the blue canopy in a graveyard--
three thousand miles away your brother is being lowered.
You eulogize a bit: first bike, a driving lesson, Listen
to this solo, Ziggy Elman "And the Angels Sing"--
but then you recall the Drowning Lesson, flung
into sink-or-swim, laughter, then the head held under.
Unhappy hour, cocktail of sudden regret, as if
you woke from a fifty-year coma and were told the date.
As if your winning ticket to the lottery disintegrated
in the washing machine. And there's the Poe look-alike
paid to sulk at the Poe Museum, Unhappy Hour, mix and mingle.
Richard Garcia is the author of The Persistence of Objects from BOA 
Editions. His poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, Crazyhorse,
Ploughshares, Pushcart Prize XXI and Best American Poetry

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