The Test of Who We Might've Been
She crashed outside that corner store,
the boots, the dress and 16 bullets through her chest.
For him she’d been anonymous
The damsel of whatever fantasy he could afford
Until the dreams became a drudgery
But she’d never promised more.
Fuck me, hit me, treat me like a whore
but for heaven's sake put that ring away
Pick your knee up from the floor
The tan line from your last one’s still fading
and I’ve got my clientele list
Thirteen gents, I can’t keep waiting.
The clerk behind the counter called for someone
who might better
be equipped to find a body
on a Tuesday afternoon.
Three digits had him well-connected
with a voice resemblant of his mother’s
that insisted he play statue,
til the right devices could arrive.
Take your balls out of the vice
The chastity of marriage is far more overrated
than a thousand-dollar flat rate for two holes.
And why would I say yes?
I’ve been the Sherpa to your Bent Tourist
And I have no desire for a husband
who comes before his wife.
A touch of morbid curiosity makes it harder to obey
the general guidelines of humanity
when no one is around.
He stayed behind that counter
for a time most would respect
Reading the brands of cigarettes and
eating candy from the jars.
But the best of us will wonder
in the spectacle of death,
if it’s really all that evil
to listen more to curiosity than any common sense.
Pay me triple if you want
I’ll be your wife for tonight.
To cook and clean and rub your tum
and maybe stroke your cock
when you’ve sweetened me with jewellery,
tossed out those filthy DVDs.
She smirked in mock reproach
Held out her empty glass.
There’s an outline of her lipstick
Still apparent on the rim
And that stain holds fast like plaster
Like the voice inside his head
As he turns to find the wine
Pulls out his old man’s pistol instead.
Her voice never abated
He popped eight straight in her chest
Reloading, she repeated, all her reasons for rejection
Eight more should do the trick
And in fact, they did.
She’s soaking through the rug now
Cannon fodder for the psychedelics
A kaleidoscope of his regret.
When the numbness starts dissipating
There’s just panic in the end
And this really ain’t the medicine
For a man with all the evidence
And little room for bright ideas.
Six storeys from the bitumen
she falls like any human would
in a tumbling disarray of limbs
her hair painting what blood was left
down the neighbours’ windows
who might’ve heard the gunshots anyway
for all he fucking knows.
A feeling overcomes the clerk
This need to see her face
And he creeps out from the counter
Stands with hands behind his back
In her pallid eyes he finds a woman
He’d served two weeks ago
And feels a tweak of guilt when remembering his joke
As he scanned her test for pregnancy
Told her he hoped it wasn’t his
But still, he reasons in the end,