The Lawnboy Confrontation (In My Front Yard Last Night)

As he pushes his belly against mine in a strangely intimate gesture
His face puckered sour, growing red, spewing invective
He’s gonna’ head butt my teeth
Smash my face through my head, head and…

Because he knew he would have the strength to kill me
The moment he set foot on my doorstep

He spits in Lawnboy Alabamese and the beery universal vernacular
Trying to get me to hit first because he’s got a witness and what have I got
Because I’m just some faggoty ass writer
or whatever else he can manufacture to goad me into hitting him
He’s angry I’m reminding him of
Whatever he’s thinking I am at the time

He’s so close I could kiss him
Or grab him by an eye or a nostril and make him scream like the day he was born

For an insane second, I consider explaining everything
I think I can see him in the sulking in some corner, behind a doorway
Listening to screaming he couldn’t stop from someone he loved
He’s so proud that he just isn’t gonna’ take it anymore
Not like he’s taken and taken it his whole life
From me, who he’s meeting for the second time
From life, and I’m a good enough prop for now
Wanting whatever ghost haunts the periphery of his bleary 20/20/20/20 vision to be proud of him too
Proud for once, before the day he dies

I’m just a prop
With the misfortune of understanding a little

I came over in sweat shorts and flip-flops
Men my age can smoke on their back porch unmolested
But go to jail when they hurt people like him

I’m not even mad
Vitriol rolls off in unpleasant lukewarm droplets
Till his roommate pulls him away from my face at last

###

I’m not mad till I’m in my own basement
And he is whatever I think he is
I can’t help but wish I hadn’t taken it this time
Like I have my whole life

From this person that I just met for the second time
And whatever he happens to remind me of at 2AM
The aching crush of the tyranny of men too pathetic to be evil

I clench my fist and smash out the dog end
In the curtain of smoke that forms the privacy of my basement

Hoping sleep forgives me in time for work tomorrow

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2 Responses to “The Lawnboy Confrontation (In My Front Yard Last Night)”

  1. Wow! I witnessed something similar to this and of course it was probably under completely different circumstances. You gave me the perspective of the man that backed down from the fight. How maybe he felt about it and it has enlightened me. I will give you mine. The man I saw back down from a fight in a similar situation (at the time and still to this day) was viewed by me as not the weaker but the stronger person. Also the more intelligent person. And like I said the situations were different…he could have threw me under the bus at that particular time. He said nothing and he walked away and till this day I never loved anyone as much as I did him in that moment. He knows this…but I never got any of his perspective about it. He never told me how he felt about backing down…just said he doesn’t like confrontation…but really how else could he have felt other than exactly like you did if not a bit worse because this fight was over me. So I hope maybe these words make you see yourself in a different light not the way you felt for not doing anything. It takes a stronger person not to lose control and hurt another person when they are spewing insults at you. It takes a strong person to walk away.

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  2. ha. i’m not exactly sure i was noble. i said more than a couple of things to antagonize the fella. i think not hitting him and going to jail that night seemed like the least stupid thing i could do… but… it’s kind of a mixed blessing to secretly understand the motivations of someone who hates you that much…

    Like

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