Like an Old Lover, Smoking Cigarettes by William Taylor Jr.

Beauty never sticks around much anymore,
people to see, places to go,

while sorrow hangs about like an old lover,
smoking cigarettes, drinking beer,
telling the same sad stories
again and again.

I listen and nod
deep into the night

and when it moves to leave

I pour another round
and say, please,

please,
it’s early yet
and I’ve nowhere
else to go.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including The New York Quarterly, The Chiron Review, and Catamaran Literary Reader. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a collection of short fiction. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. To Break the Heart of the Sun is his latest collection of poetry. 

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