On The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Of John Lennon’s Murder

by Ernest Hilbert

On a step behind the Holiday Inn,
Two Russians roamed up, bummed a cigarette,
While a third snuck up, struck me from behind.
I sprawled to asphalt. Then the boot came in.
I swung through the red, but it’s a good bet
I didn’t land one. The blackout was kind.
I woke knotted in blood-ruined sheets, startled:
Smashed, stamped, and splintered to a numbed dazzle,
I spat black wads into the fuzzy sink.
One look in the mirror, my brain curdled.
I propped in the shower stall. Steam sizzled.
My hair loosened a sick swirl of sour pink.
They made off, grinning, with all I had: two
Dollars, five cigarettes, and my Zippo.

Last updated March 15, 2023