The Scary Part                                                   

            We were all a bit drunk after the card game except for Joe who was 
            our DD and he never drank much anyway
            And tonight he hadn’t touched a drop, which was a little 
            I won the pot
            Which could barely cover gas fare for the ride home
            but was just enough for another round and
            somehow the talk got around to these dumb kids
            and their zombies and vampires and
            we all wanted to keep on throwing trump
            so it was Mike who asked us to ante up one more time
            “What I want to know,” he said with just a creep of a lisp
            “Is what was the single scariest fucking moment of your life,
            Get me?”
            Between near-miss head-on car crashes and
            muggings at gunpoint and the
            flowerpot that fell from four stories at my feet
            It was a toss up
            But Joe hadn’t said anything yet and his lips were puckered 
            and moving in and out a little like he held an ace
            until he cleared his throat
            “And?” said Mike, who was ready to rake in the winnings
            with his midnight stick-up on the subway
            “It was the weight of her absence,” said Joe, dream-like,
            “As I had my arm around her. It crushed me like a ton of bricks.”
            We all looked at him and at each other, as if …
            “So what happened,” asked Mike, breaking the ice
            “Nothing. That’s the scary part. She doesn’t even know she’s gone.”
            It was pretty quiet
            Finally Mike told Joe he was a morbid son of a bitch and couldn’t 
            leave the premises without at least one beer
            And the zombies and vampires took over
            until we all piled into Joe’s car like nothing had happened
            Which was the truth, I thought, wasn’t it?
            I was the last to be dropped off and I nodded to Joe as he drove away
            And he winked and threw his chin up into the air a little
            Meaning same time next week
            It took a while
            Despite the starless night
            To make it to my door


            Emanuel E. García, Leaf Thoughts, One Hundred Poems2013