It wasn’t the flu.
She would always think everything was the flu.
There would come a day, he thought,
When he’d come stumbling in with a sucking chest wound
And she’d diagnose the flu and make tea
While he bled out.
Fuck that. She was gone now-ministering someone else.
It was probably a torn meniscus. Fucking stairs.
Had one of them before; fingered the old scar on his left knee
As the right one pulsed-swollen and hot.
‘If I knew I was gonna live this long, I’d a’ taken better care of myself’
Was something his old man used to say.
He mumbled toward the end, his old man.
Didn’t want to open his mouth to show the tumors and sores
That were already too far along to deal with.
He winked at himself-and me behind him-in the mirror.
Dressed like a million bucks he had one more score in him.
Or so he thought.
They found him beside the dumpster in the alley behind the club.
He was barefoot. The fuckers had even taken his shoes.
He was alone now-having broken with his woman last month.
All she wanted to do was blow him.
He wanted something more intimate;
A nice slow screw with kissing. Like that.
She wouldn’t, so he let her go.
When he told that to an associate
Who had gotten exactly five blow jobs in his life-
And one was from his uncle when he was a boy-
The guy looked at him like he was nuts.
‘You should have to turn in your dick’, he’d said.
He took a pill out of the bag before taping it closed.
One more or less – it will still bring two grand.
He limped out the door and took his time
On the stairs.