Automatic Teller

I’m still paying for college —

the night I withdrew 
my last $180 
from an atm
inside a strip club,
and the banks charged 
at me

and my credit
became dust.

I chose to pay 
partial rent and delay
the car bill;
I drank soup
and got drunk,
I sat on the train

Everyone regretted
looking at me.

And she brings it up
all the time — 
the one night
I was not a gentleman,
how our little boy
could use a pair of sneakers
or three,
for the price of $180

I tell her 
I’m trying to 180
I’m trying to — 
but everytime I turn
it wants to go around
some more.

I tell her
they weren’t just bodies,
they were my friends.

When she asks 
what happened
in there

I tell her 
about Scorpio 
slapping me
across the face
for telling her
my name was Libra
(she'd never heard that one before)

and how, after that,
it was like 
nothing happened

we sat 
at the bar talking
about vintage sneakers,
we drank gin 
she started yelling

at me to give her

every thing I had

so I gave her 
everything I had,
said I was sorry
I had to go,
she said my leaving
made her sad
that I would miss
the private show

My pastor, in private,
tells me the past 
is all sunk cost

but my money man
calls that a fallacy,
he says

that every penny 
I let slip away 
is recorded in The Book
of Life.