I know she's begging for his big brown paper bags
and to remain abstinent from his liquor cabinet
because he's coming on site with newly-sober rednecks
and preaching of becoming a sobered-enough roughneck.
I know he's tapping his grungy fingertips on tabletops
and sitting in foreign tattoo parlors talking tittery-tattery
because she disses him with friends 'It's true he's cussed
at me for no reason but I'd be lying if I say he ever swore.'
When they exchange tit for tattoo he may wring a neck-
lace; bags under her eyes beg for him to be the bigger man.
But when breakfast settles they won't be neck and neck
and she'll be the abstinent teaser and he'll have cabinet fever.
And it's a bad sign when there's a day without a diss or cuss
off the top of his head, tap water is sobering and his hat tips
lower and lower down his forehead. I remember that I swore
that freight trains should always chant 'clickety-clackety.'
Bigger beggars know bagged absinthe is not as compassionate
from tip-tap-top touches from a body that is rickety-rackety
and bottlenecked into luggage; that a mortician is a rubberneck
away from authorities who discuss statements he's forsworn.