Out Past Curfew Pt. 1
I knew they were there I knew they were there I knew they were there
but I couldn’t see them
at least not yet.
Didn’t know they’d use him like that didn’t know they’d come after us
didn’t know this would be the first time I’d throw a punch—
a sequence of punches—
that would actually land
or at least have landings that I remember.
Some lessons I learned to forget
like my speeches about sophisticated dolphin civilizations
and their underwater cities and my endless glee
sitting on the playground two houses down
from a house I used to live in with the creepy room
at the end of the attic with the burn marks on the wood.
A friend tried to get her phone to record my meanderings,
but it turned a deaf ear
and, drunk, I illustrated the dophins’ speech patterns by banging on a stop sign
some time after two in the morning and roused a neighbor
who pulled a gun on me that I don’t remember seeing.
My friends dragged me away to safety
but I wasn’t there so I turned to one friend
and belted him and he saw stars,
the same ones we’d been before,
shooting through the atmosphere
in ignorance and fermentation.
The next day he told me we went on for a half hour this way,
and by the time it was over
the neighbor had exchanged his gun for a bottle.
My brain began recording again just as the bottle intersected with my forehead,
right at the hairline.
I shook it off
turned to the guy
you just broke a bottle over my head
well, see ya!
and staggered off.
At the crosswalk
two blocks later two girls I saw from the party earlier saw me
and asked me why my face was bleeding and I said something like
I don’t know,
apparently some people
have a problem
with nice guys
and I continued on my merry way home.