the smack of ivory balls—
darting across green felt
glisten under the table lights.
Where boys eye the lie and angles.
Wafts smells of lagers and ales,
cigs, cigars, they’re flipp’n off,
throwing smirks, yeah, bullshit! swaggers,
strutting cues speak back’n forth in shouts,
laughs and screw-you! replies.
While women, young girls, pose
say Oh, my God! hike
skirts to sit on high stools,
swing smooth leg
yak to each other
at the players
Thump‘n thumping pulses from the ceiling
black boxes. Through this Friday haze,
before high-up flat screens
where flashes sports clips
whose talking-heads cannot be heard
inside this pilsner palace.
The children commune and cruise.
Barmaids duck and weave
in Marco Polo routes
with shots, exotics,
slop the brimming
back and forth like
ducks in a shooting gallery.
Soon girls flip up their hair–it’s getting hot.
Guys laugh louder, grin more
have won or lost enough.
Lose interest and seek
reach more frequent
touch a back
Noise notches up
people speak loud—louder
Now it happens between them
from pleasing welcome-you lips,
flashing smiles of the flip-flop
wearing women, who still wait,
enfolded in summer shifts
Wait to receive the cue’s kiss.
To be carried
lain on green felt lawns,
where chosen young men
in solids or stripes,
will finally fall into softness.
Neal Ostman has learned from people stateside and abroad. After trekking, his work life involved responsibilities as CFO for healthcare companies. His poetry has appeared in various journals, anthologies and e-zines including: Cattlemen & Cadillacs; Electric Acorn, Dublin, Ireland; Poetry Pacific; Red River Review, Under the Streets and Bridges, WordFest Anthology 2022. In addition to poetry, his published credits include business and historical articles. His poetry readings have been well received at many venues in the cities of his travels. Neal is a member of the Poetry Society of Texas and lives in Colleyville, Texas.