Girl with a black eye

saturday afternoon

sitting at the bar

waiting

& his girl walks in

sits next to me

says he’ll be here in a while

& I notice then

she has a big black eye

I raise an eyebrow

she misinterprets this

points at a beer tap

one of those please

so I buy her a beer

as every man in the place

leers wild at me

even the barman jeers

as he puts her drink down

was it him?

no she says all quiet

but he’s not convinced

neither is anybody else

& I don’t mind fighting

for the things I’ve done

said I was gonna do

but this looks like

I’m heading for a kicking

so I order more drinks

soften the bruises to soothe

just then he pops his head in

we still going fishing?

I call him in

order him up a drink

say to the barkeep

this is her man

look after him eh?

I need to step outside

for a minute or two

peace to come

the problem with lover fights

is how

they throw stuff at you

in gobbets

huge arcs of flame

wanting to strike

find the wounded niche

where the scold can take hold

& they find me walking

I tell myself

them too

I’ll sit & listen to whatever you got

but start this screaming throwing stuff

& I’m gone

but they never believe

until

the room is empty

I’ve had them chase me down the street

throwing clothes out of windows

doing the c’mere come back

so I can hurt you more tango

calling me chickenshit for running away

but after that first corner

I can’t hear them anymore

I find a quiet bar

& wait for peace to come