by , under Poetry

When I met Doc
he shook my hand like a man,

told war stories in
a southern accent.

My best friend Reno
introduced him to me.

Doc, he said, was cool.
Doc had a nice house,

a marble sculpture
of Greek boys wrestling,

masculine furniture,
heirlooms and aged books,

a Colt’s revolver on the nightstand
next to a photo of Doc in uniform

A crucifix hung
over his bed.

I was fifteen, my father, all our
fathers, elsewhere.

Doc said this is a safe place.
He let us smoke cigarettes

and drink whiskey. He said
what starts here, stays here.

About this he was absolute,
experienced, desperate.

Don't just stand there.