Athens, Ohio, 1971

The bar served anyone
who could stand upright.
Students sat at tables
littered with Rolling Rock, shots
of Jack Daniels. 
Bell-bottom jeans and Frye boots,
faded blue workshirts,
embroidered peasant tops,
long, center-parted hair.
Stephen Stills sang “love the one you’re with”
and Carole King crooned about the earth
moving under her feet.
The acrid scent of a joint
mixed with Marlboros
and patchouli. Dim lights,
dirty mirrors, tacky floors.
Vietnam Vets hunched at the bar,
already old men in their late 20's.
Took a course or two at the school,
used compound bows to hunt deer.
Lived in falling down houses 
in the woods.
They invited us there
in the hope we would bake 
an apple or cherry pie,
maybe cook some spaghetti—food
more important than sex.

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