a bar in the Mojave desert

There’s a bar in the mojave desert.

Most don't know how to get there,

Only hearing the mutters of instructions from drunken strangers,

But they all have same eyes,

And they all say the same things.


Drive East from Los Angeles, 

Past the hustle,

And the bustle,

Then north,

Through the Angeles forest,

Through the ash of past fires.


There will be purple flowers

scattered throughout the trees,

You should stop to greet them,

But do not take them.

If you do you won’t make it to the bar,

Nor anyone else ever again.


Keep driving.

past San Bernardino, past Barstow.

Past the lakes of old gold rush towns,

Once the only water for miles around.


Take I-40 off of I-15.

Once you could’ve taken route 66,

But thats long since been paved over,

for reasons unknown,

But ones you could probably guess.


There's an exit off of I-40,

That's tucked away,


For better or for worse,

It's not your business.


The directions get a bit fuzzy from there,

So listen close.

It's 161 miles from Barstow, Cali to the Arizona border.

Almost three hours if you're going sixty.

You can go faster,

There's nothing out there that's gonna see.

At least nothing that's not long dead.


Drive east. 

Watch the road.

Look for the Joshua trees,

That’s your exit.


The bar isn’t too impressive looking,

A few neon signs advertising different brands of beer.

Squat and square with dusty aluminium siding.

There aren’t any cars.


You made it.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.


All the staff have faces that are a bit fuzzy,

and familiar in a way you cant place.

Deep purple tattoos litter their skin,

each one unique to the employee.

If you look close enough you can see them shift and whirl,

slowly, tectonic.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.


Take a seat at the bar.

You don't have to ask for a drink.

They already know what you want.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.


There's another woman,

Tan and blonde sitting at the bar.

She asks for the owner.

He comes out from a door behind the bar,

Small and slight and inked up each arm.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.


The blonde woman gets up,

Smiling too wide with too white teeth.

“You’ll want to be careful,”

She giggles,

“The neighbours are looking in.”

Thunder rumbles in the distance.


She leaves.

The bartender and the owner share a look.

Silence seeps into the air,

Atmosphere charged with tension and something a bit thicker,



There is no thunder in the distance.


The door opens.

You don't move.

You don’t speak.

The lights flicker.

A tall man looms in the doorway.

His face is shadow.


He grins,

“You don’t want the neighbours looking in.”

The lights go out.

It starts to rain.


This poem is about: 
Our world
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