It Probably Didn’t Matter In The Long Run

Old Man And The Sea

Still hazy with drugs
I entered the bathroom to piss
and saw her there,
lying with the roaches,
half-unconscious and
murmuring to herself.
Seeing her short skirt,
riding up,
showing so much leg,
a thought crossed my mind
but that’s where it stayed.
Even my hormones
recoiled at the idea
of touching the heap of
passed out on the floor
that night.

With the side of my boot,
I nudged her on to her side
so she wouldn’t choke
on her own vomit.
I figured if she was going to
kill herself
it probably didn’t matter in the long run,
but the act let me stand myself
a little more easily.

In the end though,
it was her kid I felt sorry for.
I heard they took him away
for shooting an old lady
on her way to the post office.
I remember thinking
maybe I could have
saved two lives
if I’d left that woman
to choke on her decisions
all those years ago.

© 2016, Gavin Zanker.

Photo by Rocco Lucia licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

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