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Happy Hour at The Paradise Bar & Grill

by Joe Albanese


The clambake sets aroma in motion as

color-filled glasses and

laughter generate a pirated intoxication.

We're too many miles inland but absorb the

placebo's salty breeze.


Hell is in this compensation, Paradise

in the moments you lose track

of that truth.

Storms never pulled from the sea—it's

pushing out through aches, pulsating from

the center out.


Someone under-poured this rum and

the mirage wears off, but that sulfur

smell of coastal estuary is already sunburnt

to my skin.


Fuck it.