A neon cross was propped up
On its left side above the liquor shelf
Like Jameson had carried it to Calvary.
Here, beer was named after the river,
Tasted like dust and cost the same.
Boys at the end of the bar
Leaned crooked in salt stained denim
And wind-fucked khaki jackets,
Spit dip into cut open Gatorade bottles.
The summer had brought heat and sulfur
And the roads would be white until autumn,
When the apples came down with the rain.
Patrick Riordan is a graduate of the University of Rochester. He is a copy-editor and writer based in Western New York, where he is working on a collection of short stories about people in Buffalo.