- Three at the Bar on the Fourth of July
You who fell to your knees You who proposed after the ambulancetook the woman we found bleeding at the foot of the stairs Her husbanddown the block yelling I never forget aface If they hurt her I’ll kill youyour ancestors your kick Tell me: how can you kill someonealready buried or burned? When Billy showed up drunk and beaminghe didn’t ask why you knelt why I held your hat over your facepaint slashed like lips on the brim Billy handed me a Hershey’s Kisswarm from his pocket I wore a white knit dress : nineteen on Inis MeáinI bought the cheapest piece in the store I knew I’d always regret going homewithout something authentic Sunny who sat outside his barshadows falling under the dusty awning Sunny afaintlightinwhitejeanslinen shirt, half tucked in white beard sailing in the salted air Sunny who died last week but that night said, You look like an angel. I said back, God.Falling into a hug: You look like God. Sunny trailed his fingersthrough my hair thick and wild in the salted wind sweat forming curlson my forehead Billy who saw your eyes glaze laced his fists into a prayerBilly who watched as you said I love y ou atSunny’sfor the first time Billy blocked your ears then your eyes [End Page 67]
Nichole LeFebvre is a Poe/Faulkner fellow in the mfa program at the University of Virginia, where she teaches fiction.