May 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Two
Ralph Baker III
THE SILVER EAGLE

You'll find one by accident
in just about any large city.
You'll be stumbling lost in an alley.
And there it'll be.
All the windows are painted black,
and a Silver Eagle nailed to the door.
When people visit the Silver Eagle,
they know what they want.
James Dean knew what he wanted,
when he visited the Silver Eagle.
At his autopsy they found over fifty
cigarette burns on his chest.
Rock Hudson knew what he wanted
when he visited the Silver Eagle.
At his autopsy they found a wristwatch
lodged six inches up his ass.
Some people find what they want
at the Silver Eagle–
but don't live to tell about it.
They don't need an oath of secrecy
at the Silver Eagle.
Tell anyone you've been there,
and they will never
–ever–
look at you the same again.
You, standing in the alley,
will assume it's a closed shopfront,
and walk home.
I don't know what I want,
but stumbling in the door
at the Silver Eagle,
I know what I'll get.
And that's all the reassurance
the world can give me
at 3am this morning.