Never Been Better by J.R. Barner

Never Been Better

Tomorrow is barely an hour old:
The dark hangs off me like a
Jacket draped around my shoulders
To fend off a chill while my date walks me home.
Streetlights play off sodium haze and smeared lipstick:
Where everything smells eternally of
Sweat, smoke, stale beer, and indolence,
And the city is a bar that never closes.
You stoop to kiss me,
Sleep still in your eyes from yesterday
As they squint to a close,
Mouth hanging open like a corpse.
I let myself get taken in,
Drawn back into the shadows,
Convincing myself that I’ll never feel this way
Ever again.


J.R. Barner is a writer, teacher, and musician living in Athens, Georgia. They are the author of the chapbooks Burnt Out Stars and Thirteen Poems and their forthcoming first collection, Little Eulogies. They were educated at the University of Minnesota and the University of Georgia. Their work has appeared in online and print journals Flow, Anobium, and Release. New work is available periodically at

Leave a Reply