Satori – Matt Dennison

Matt Dennison

Before being arrested
for obstructing the sidewalk
of the French Quarter A&P,
we stood in that delicate
Sunday morning light
dedicating our lives
to ungallanted drunkenness,
taking turns punching
each other on the shoulder
like street Buddhist priests
and not flinching as the
one hitting shouted “Satori!”
as loud as he could between
endless quarts of beer
and the steadily increasing
number of shoppers casting
backward glances.
When the police arrived
we were stretched out flat,
arm-wrestling above
the billowing sidewalk.
In the drunk tank, waiting
to make my one phone call,
a very old and toothless
man made an offer
most foul in exchange
for the quarter I held.
I said, “No, thank you,”
and he scuttled away
like one short stroke
of a shodo brush.

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