18 July 2009

They Took It Outside

I mean, these two middle-aged men,
salesmen both or managers maybe,
each bald but each in a different way,
gripping thin glasses of, for god’s sake,
scotch & water, seven & seven, beige drinks,
fumbled their escalation through quilted doors
to mix it up, settle some hash, pound it out
in the parking lot.

It was awful as their disconnected swings
dissolved into panted wrestling,
six inches of pale skin showing as the fat one’s
trousers twisted up his leg,
the slurred curses swallowed,
short breath gargled in the shuffle
as they tired of what had seemed
like the thing to do.

Somehow, I held their coats
and the fabric of each looked
especially weird under the
sodium lights outside.

It was embarrassing.
Locked together half under a Taurus,
wet from parking lot puddles
and the tall one’s shirt had ripped at the shoulder seam,
they half-rolled back and forth,
now silent save for whistled breathing
and the argument was lost
among the gravel and the bottle caps.

I draped their jackets together
across the hood of an Acura
and left them there,
but I kept the wallets.
I wanted to get out of there
before things got hideous,
before they agreed to respect each other,
shake hands, buy each other rounds.
I wanted to remember them
just they way they lay.

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