At around 2 pm
on a drippy humid day
driving on Oak
somewhere near Shelby or Clay,
there’s an unmarked bar
with black, smoky windows.
I see a man in jaunty straw hat
stagger towards his gray Cadillac,
parked out front,
already too far from the curb.
As he tries and tries to pull
the door open on the driver’s side,
another man twice his size, huge
broad fighter shoulders,
pushes open the heavy red window-
less red door of the bar,
jumps over the hood,
cold-cocks the guy,
just before the light turns green.
My hands sweaty, tight
gripping the steering wheel.
My body shakes. The scream, silent.
It occurs to me–I have never witnessed
violence like this–except in the darkness
of movie theaters or in our TV room,
lounging on the couch with a glass of wine.
Instead of crossing the intersection,
I make an illegal turn,
cars in back of me pull around
the man, flat on his back,
the concrete boiling up.
What can I do? already late,
to pick up my sick kid from school
in my shiny Saturn wagon.