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Ode to horny drunks - Darby Murnane

It was through a haze of cigarette smoke and red light

leaking from the pickup-truck

that you first laid eyes upon

my ass.


You were holding court with your drunken fellows

in the parking lot behind the bar,

on that frigid evening.

I was taking a shortcut home with a friend

when we stumbled into your kingdom,

where you three whooped and whistled

and raised your drinks

to being studs.


Perhaps

you took our hurried steps,

and the way we put as much distance

between us as we could,

for the playful shyness of young maidens

whispering about a handsome Lord from afar.


Perhaps

you took the way I raised my chin

and squared my shoulders

at the sight of you and your leering friends,

as the sly invitation

of a courtesan.


And though it was the bloodrush to your pants talking,

I’m sure it was with best intentions

that you hollered,

“Hey ladies, nice asses! Keep on walkin’!”

with majestic slurs and spittle

as you stood, chest puffed and proud.

You stood as if your presence alone would warm this place,

as if you were a great, burning hearth to lie beside.


Though,

I confess I didn’t feel the warmth you must have hoped for.


There’s too much frost in my unfeeling heart

to beat for such sweet words as yours.

I’m sorry for the ache you must have felt

after I rejected your affections with a snarled,

“I’ll fucking gut you!”


I’m sorry that I shocked you into silence

as you seemed so surprised when neither of us swooned,

when we didn’t fall against each other,

giggling and fanning ourselves

against a sudden rush of heat.

We should’ve been in awe

of the way you were able to pierce

through the layers of our sweaters and coats

to see our maidenly forms hidden beneath,

of the way you really saw us.


Though,

I wonder

if you would be as willing to undress

the layers of our hearts

as you were to undress

the layers of our clothes.


And I’m so sorry that the force of my words

knocked your paper-crown askew.

I’m sorry if the pins holding it together

stuck you as they rained down.

I’m sorry if you saw yourself

the way I saw you that night--

as the reigning King of Pricks.


Bio:

Darby Murnane is a graduate student journalist with the University of North of Texas, and holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington. When she’s not writing hard news, she’s scribbling lines for a short story or personal essay in the middle of the night.

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