Home Boy is the Thursday night bartender at Thirsty Ben’s.
Buddha arrives at 8:08,
not one minute earlier or later.
He has a thing for the number eight,
upended infinity begging for a reprieve.
The beer and wings crowd has actually noticed,
leaving the end stool perpetually open.
But only on Thursdays, the night of the Buddha.
Neighborhood ritual is highly respected.
At exactly 8:08, the door to Ben’s opens,
the sea of testosterone parts for the prophet.
Buddha wears black Converse, cargo shorts, a t-shirt,
retro Magic Eight Ball silkscreened on front.
Home Boy starts the blender,
adds opinion, skewered fact,
mixes a cocktail of convolution:
politics, philosophy, religion,
with a finishing jigger of racy hood gossip.
A garnish of ego tops off the drink.
Buddha is offered this signature cocktail,
though he always declines,
yet pays just the same.
Home Boy sighs and murmurs:
“Just the usual then,”
retrieving the sake off the top shelf,
adding just one ice cube,
clear as the truth,
strong in its pleasure,
so like the man.