Love Story

He orders a second drink.
I argue with him until
he promises he’ll sip it slow.
At the bar I say, Let’s
get some food in our stomachs.
And when the bartender is busy
he goes off—Hey scumbag,
do your job. The show is starting.
The lights go dark in the small
and crowded room. And when
the first comic comes on
he mumbles What a dumbfuck.
I shush him. We eat Goldfish
and I keep shushing him.

One of his hands tugs
at my skirt like a dog.  I pull away.

When the lights come on a guy
I know from school sees me,
says, Hi.  I say, See you
Tuesday. Now
three drinks in him he walks
ahead of me, storms outside
into the street crowd.  I walk
after him.
Why don’t you just fuck him
right in front of me? he shouts,
steps off the sidewalk
into the street.

A woman dressed like Nordstrom
stares at us, dialing her phone.
Is she calling the cops?  I step
off the sidewalk the way I am—
overboard.

Let’s get out of here, I whisper
in his ear. And all he has in him is

I wanted to split that
bartender’s face in half.
He wants to punch somebody.

We’re walking on the gutters now.
Not looking to live is how he lives.
Not much of a love story.

 

82jY3a_1Alexis Ivy’s poetry collection, Romance with Small-Time Crooks was published in 2013 by BlazeVOX [books].  Her most recent poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, Amoskeag, Off The Coast, Spare Change News, Hubbub, Common Ground Review, The Chiron Review, Tar River Poetry, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Eclipse, Yellow Medicine Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, J Journal and upcoming in The Worcester Review.