Fight Night

Claret on cotton and hearts on sleeves;
words that hurt and eyes that bleed.

After too much truth serum, I was after a fight. “It will all come out in the wash,” the wise man used to say, but those words of mine won’t, the ones I spat all over you last night, vodka- and saliva-laced blood on your white shirt, and your handsome face, pale, bewildered and afraid. You weren’t expecting that venomous spray and you should’ve washed up straight away, but those stains are stuck now, ingrained, tainted fibre, they’ll barely fade, merely to a lighter shade of pain but it’s still pain, pain all the same. Blind rage, I disengaged and, the next day, I don’t remember the details of my cruel tirade, but can tell that it was harsh by the look on your face, your face that says, “I know you’re sick, you didn’t mean it,” your face that won’t admit that I say what I mean and mean what I say, your face that says, “I will always forgive but I can never forget.” Can’t you see that I’m trying to make you love me less? That I want you to come out best? I’m trying to make you leave me before you get left. And you can just buy a new shirt anyway, one that’s pretty and pure and free of grief and free of stains, easy to iron out the kinks, easy to maintain, better quality than me, longer lasting than us. She’ll fit you just right. And, in time, you will forget the unwarranted malice, cruelty, spite in the words that I spat all over you during a nasty drunken fight we had, late one October night.


Originally published by Alternate Route (January 2022)

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