Pavey at the Waffle House (for Shawn Pavey) by Jason Baldinger

The last night of tour
somewhere in Missouri
outside of Blue Springs
in a Waffle House Parking lot
cops cars bust a driver
red and blue adjoining parking lot lights

We are alive in strange madness tonight
we’ve been listening to words for days
seeding words, digging for the next batch of stories
we are tired and words are rebelling on us

We stand in a circle exchanging new friends for goodbyes
staring at each other, the stars and the moon
Pavey, paid for our feast
he has one more poem to recite
from memory, and now my memory doesn’t recall
what was perfect in his verse
what seemed liked it summed up
this moment succinctly, crystalline
in the weight of the fall night
somehow everything we see
everything we think we believe
is even more beautiful
when we know it’s escaped

Jason Baldinger
Jason Baldinger is a poet hailing for the Appalachian hamlet of Pittsburgh. He’s the author of several books the most recent of which, the chaplet, Fumbles Revelations (Grackle and Crow) is available now, and the collection Fragments of a Rainy Season (Six Gallery Press) which is coming in September. Recent publications include the Low Ghost Anthology Unconditional Surrender, Uppagus, Lilliput Review, Rusty Truck, Dirtbag Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nerve Cowboy Concrete Meat Press, and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance. You can hear Jason read some poems at

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