According to the epigraph, the poem’s setting is an establishment known as the Golden Shovel. The specific nature of this establishment goes unstated. However, context clues allow us to infer that the Golden Shovel is a pool hall where the speakers gather to play billiards. Although the poem offers no additional information about the Golden Shovel, the simple fact that it’s a pool hall has significance for understanding the text. From the early twentieth century onward, pool halls were seen as seedy places. Pool halls often served alcohol, and hence were associated not only with intoxication, but also with other deviant behaviors, including smoking, gambling, loitering, and fighting. The pool players’ favorite hangout spot is therefore a place that both facilitates and encourages their rebellious behavior. In this way, the pool hall is at least partially responsible for the fate the players project for themselves in the poem’s final lines: “We / Die soon.” By contributing to the early deaths of these teenage rebels, the pool hall gains its symbolic significance: that is, it is the “shovel” that will eventually bury them. And if this shovel is ironically called “golden,” it’s because it makes dying young seem desirable.