Boot Theory

A poem by Richard Siken that still has me.
  1. A man walks into a bar and says:
    Take my wife—please.
  2. So you do.
  3. You take her out into the rain and you fall in love with her
  4. and she leaves you and you're desolate.
  5. You're on your back in your undershirt, a broken man
  6. on an ugly bedspread, staring at water stains
  7. on the ceiling.
  8. And you can hear a man in the apartment above you
  9. taking off his shoes.
  10. You hear the first boot hit the floor and you're looking up,
  11. you're waiting
  12. because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be
  13. some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together
  14. but here we are in the weeds again,
  15. here we are,
  16. in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn't make any sense.
  17. And then the second boot falls.
  18. And then a third, a fourth, a fifth.
  19. *
  20. A man walks into a bar and says:
    Take my wife—please.
  21. But you take him instead.
  22. You take him home and make him a cheese sandwich,
  23. and you try to get his shoes off, but he kicks you
  24. and he keeps kicking you.
  25. You swallow a bottle of sleeping pills but they don't work.
  26. Boots continue to fall to the floor
  27. in the apartment above you.
  28. You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened.
  29. Your coworkers ask
  30. if everything's okay and you tell them
  31. you're just tired.
  32. And you're trying to smile. And they're trying to smile.
  33. *
  34. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says:
    Make it a double.
  35. A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says:
    Walk a mile in my shoes.
  36. A man walks into a convenience store, still you, saying:
    I only wanted some thing simple, something generic...
  37. But the clerk tells you to buy something or get out.
  38. A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it into the river
  39. but then he's still left
  40. with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away
  41. but then he's still left with his hands.