Pacing Outside of a Hamburger Joint in Times Square

Pacing Outside of a Hamburger Joint in Times Square
by Kevin Ridgeway
When I was seventeen years old
I lived in my brother’s window sill
over looking the George Washington Bridge
riding the trains and prowling the streets
of the city,
and on several of those nights
I perfected my fledgling standup comedy routine
in front of one of his floor length mirrors
a British royal guard hand puppet and
a potato masher, and an explosion of
impromptu lack of preparation
were among my cauldron of props
stuffed in my winter over coat
as I paced the front of the
Times Square hamburger joint open mic
I never went in
I perused the discount discs
at Virgin mega store
riding its escalators
with music on my megaphone mind
I stared at the roaring lights of Broadway
the whirling cars and people snapping by
in constant instances of postcards
that they sell
in Times Square
I was afraid of all of those scary bastards
the headphones and the music drew out the pain
I never tried out the comedy act
the props are still sitting idle
In storage in my mother’s attic
I’ve walked that stretch of light
many times since
high, drunk and flailing my arms
I should have at least bought a burger
and gone into that angry abyss

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