Lorenzo After Driving Drunk

posted May 12, 2009

When Lorenzo blew his second DUI,
he called me up to bail him out. Jesus, he looked
sheepish coming down the jailhouse steps
with his plastic bag of things.

That night when the bar closed he walked
all the way from downtown to my house—at least
three miles—just to curse me through the window.
“Should have let me rot, you bastard!”

A wolf won’t stay a sheep for long.
He said I must have mightily impressed
myself this time, but he was wrong. 
I felt like the king in a bad

school play, pinned
beneath my shabby paper crown,
standing nervously beside
a delicate, spray-painted throne.

Mark Neely's poems have appeared in Boulevard, Indiana Review, North American Review, Meridian, and Salt Hill. He is the editor of The Broken Plate, and teaches at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he lives with his wife, writer Jill Christman, and their two children. These two poems are part of a sequence he is working on, called Fishing With Lorenzo.

Neely’s poem “Prologue” also appears in this issue.