the man in the corner

the music here is good
I swirl my drink
the ice cube clinks
I like this place
except one thing
the man in the corner
who sits in the dark
he’s always there
and always sits

all he does is laugh
at anything I say

suppose I tell him that my home 
is in the heart 
of North America and that
it might just be the safest place 
on planet earth
 he laughs

I tell him that I quit
eating meat and dairy
and that I’m eating
mostly plants
 and he just laughs

one time in Chicago
I told him that I swim
and bike and run
whenever I can
 he laughs again

then one time I lost it — 
confessed that I believe
in eternal life 
and that
I will always be here
 he laughed so hard
 he spit his beer

then I shared some arguments
contrived to show that aging
and death 
 — not life — 
are the real mysteries
 he laughed so hard
 he weazed

“our cells replace themselves
all the time and so
our body is always 
 he laughed

“we lose our baby teeth
but they’re replaced — 
the systems are all there
for us to last forever”
 he just laughed and laughed

all he does is laugh 
at anything I say

what pisses me off 
is that I know
he’s one of those
bozos with 
no case
no argument to make
no need to put up a fight
no need to show his face
but when it all shakes out
what pisses me off most is that
I know
this guy will be somehow right
like probably because 
of some dumb
or a rule that he
manipulates or bends
so it’s no wonder
that he laughs
so much
and it’s no wonder he
is never here 
with friends
__ __ __
for more cliche metaphors for death,
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