The first night I went there alone to drink,
a man threatened to destroy me.
Your cunt belongs to someone else
Who do you think you are? he yelled,
and poked his large fist against my sternum.
I crept back to my stool with my head down
while he threw over tables.
He couldn't even see I was gone,
but he had the sense to leave,
shouting his rage into the snow,
before the police came.
I went back after that.
I went back for ten years.
You can be a blackout drunk
in a bar like that
as long as you keep your voice down,
and the ones worse than you,
the ones who twitch and stutter
once the third pint hits,
eclipse your shame
like it's their goddamn job,
and you let them.