She rolls her eyes at me
I can tell that she is annoyed.
She is peevish on beer filled nights
Emboldened by the adoring friends
Surrounding her.


The place is dank with ill will
The malcontent owner fights
More than he works
And the floor is covered with
Sweet stickiness
It never goes away
The humidity of the sweat filled air
Congeals it to the linoleum.

But she loves places like this
Seedy bars with questionable characters
And men she can toy with and swat
Away like the fruit flies
That hover over the peanut jars.


But tonight I mistakenly
Hijacked her attention
And misspoke.
Her sharp retribution
Was a sarcastic rebuke
Intended to embarrass and shame



And my simple quietness
In reply angered her


She thinks I am too sensitive.
I sit, sipping from my glass
Smudged with fingerprints
That aren’t mine
I ignore most of them
And pity the worst
Listening to them drone on
In a stupor

About the life they’ve lived
The grief they don’t deserve
And the regrets they don’t have


She eviscerates them
And they turn to their drinks with verve
To salt the wounds.


With her irritation
Aimed at me
She blunts the edges of her wit
We are friends,
After all.
My silence is clemency
And we toast with fireball.