Ode to the Men’s Room at Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village (Which Was Once Called Loisaida)

The men’s room here
used to have
a much lower barricade
so that
while taking a crap
you were somehow in the middle
of an awkward social scene.

That changed sometime back
probably because enough folks
complained about the lack of privacy
and maybe a decrease in hard drugs
needing to be monitored.
Anyhow, now
the order of the day
is shitting in peace.

But in the wake of this change
the men’s room experience
has become far lonelier
and it is far easier
to suffer in isolation
while emptying out all the insides.

Even as we do
what all men sometimes do
we do it ourselves
alone in shame.
In some ways
this is progress
but not in all.

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