By Fist or by Fury
The scars on my knuckles lie
Like her eyes when they pretend they’re not looking my way.
I sip on weak coffee—knuckles looking tough
like I’ve fought for things I believed in
and whether or not I won or lost is no matter, because at least I got my shots in.
I see her looking at me,
then averting her gaze down to her papers or at her nails and
it makes me nervous so I fondle my cigarettes in my shirt’s pocket and
try to sit up straight and look presentable and
not to spill my coffee on my shirt.
I pretend like I don’t notice her.
I try to play it cool—
I don’t even know her and
We act like we don’t see each other’s wayward tongues, licking lips, begging for provocation
And to fuck and be fucked in all sorts of clichéd ways:
in New England farmhouse lofts in the dusty hay,
on sterile rooftops of Boston and Brooklyn, cityscapes in the background,
or on the white sand beaches of Borinquen, trade winds rustling the palms.
I don’t know if it’s her femme fatale bangs and bright red lipstick that reminds me of Paris and Sex or the oversized sunglasses that hide her eyes as she pretends not to stare.
Like my knuckles that lie,
I’ve never fought for a single thing that I believe in—
love and lust and light included—
and I probably won’t fight for her either.