hooked

28,000 of us sat there
opening day
one hour before post
with our Racing Forms
and our programs and our
newspapers and our coffees
when the announcer said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, we regret to
announce that the mutual clerks refuse to
sell tickets so there will be no
racing today.   Rainchecks will be issued at
the gates at
one p.m.”
a man in a Hawaiian shirt and black and white
shoes took a .45
and blew his left eye out through the back of his
skull.
a man who resembled the younger Bing Crosby
raped a virgin in the parking lot.
then they opened up the gates and let in the Red
Sea, 13 Israeli tanks and a truckload of
National Geographics.
everybody felt bad.
“there’s nothing to do,” I told my girlfriend,
“but go home and go to bed.   we’ll race
each other.

the next day I bought a newspaper and read it
to see if it really had
happened.
it really had happened.

and when they opened the track again
5 days later
28,000 people sat in the stands
with their Racing Forms
and their programs and their   newspapers
and their   coffees
one hour before post.