The Circular Bar

Sitting at the circular bar with one
glass of red wine I remember the draw
of these places. You’re part of the circle
almost forced to look at everyone else
in the room, you must crimp your curiosity
from staring and comparing
college guys, one lonely.

I saw my reflection in you, I used to be
that person peeking out
from the side of the group
drinking up the courage
to say hi or make conversation
or at least hold eye contact long enough
to decide it’s a good idea and follow through.
We’d go to another bar later, a group of us
girls and maybe if I wasn’t feeling too immature
I’d walk over before we left and say hi and ask
where you’re going
and tell you where we’re going
and feel out your eyes

before my friends walked out the doors
and piled into the cars to go to some place
with the same old music playing, all of us
with different agendas. Maybe you’d show up.

But I’m old now and married
to my dreams amazed we made it through
all those late nights alive and only this broken
and I’m not you anyway

I’m on the other side
of the bar waiting for my friend
on her birthday while she’s Facebooking
I’m reminiscing and not making eye contact
on purpose

with the me in you.

about the author
Whitney Bell lives in Huber Heights, Ohio, with her handsome husband and awesome stepson. She’s a master’s student at Antioch University Midwest. The current Literary Editor of The Antioch Voice, she’s working on a collection of poetry and her first novel. She tries to blog at