What a Sad Christmas

Scott Silsbe

Christopher’s Bar is all full up and Liquor World is closed already.

So I wander down the avenue looking for someplace to take me in,

clutching a Brautigan in my coat in case I need some conversation.


I used to keep a plastic cooler in the back of my beat-up old Volvo.

Sometimes I’d put a case of beer on ice in there, sometimes a sixer

and a nice bottle of bourbon. I like my bourbon with one lone rock.


But I don’t have the Volvo anymore. Traded it for a book of poems

and watched it ride off down the highway to the city of lost angels.

I know it’s just “the city of angels”, but that’s not how I think of it.

What does it matter? It doesn’t. I do get down like this sometimes.

Only to remind myself how good I have it. I have my failing health.

I have a little bit of money. I have the love of a woman on occasion.


One night in Kalamazoo, I was just cruising and I stopped to knock

on the door of a girl I knew through a writing class at the university.

She used to write these fun stories about doing drugs at dance clubs.


When she opened her door, I said, “Let’s go drinking and driving!”

She laughed and said alright. We wound up at this Valentine diner

up on M-140, just outside of South Haven, called Ma’s Coffee Pot.


We didn’t even end up doing any drinking. Just had coffee and pie

and talked a while. She was a good talker and she had a nice laugh.

She made me feel less lonely. Even on the dark and quiet ride home.

 About the Writer
Split Lip Magazine

Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit and now lives in Pittsburgh. His poems and prose have appeared in a number of fine periodicals including Kitchen Sink, Third Coast, The Chariton Review, Nerve Cowboy, Words Dance, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Six Gallery Press published his first full-length collection of poems Unattended Fire in 2012 and Low Ghost Press published The River Underneath the City in 2013.