His kids come
son and daughter
obviously in hate with each other
both wearin’ his expressionless pupils
both hurlin’ eye daggers

I escape across the road
to Dan Connolly’s bar
not wanting to get nicked
my pitiful wrinkly body
needin’ all its blood
Walking rap sheets
those two

Connolly sees me come in
starts up with the
O’ Danny Boy
then slides quick into Irish Eyes
and when he finally stops
I’ve downed the first of
the Old Bushmills
he sets down
on the house
on account of me being a widow
and him pals with my dead husband

What’s up, he asks

I say: Rodney’s kids upstairs
bangin’ ‘round

We look out the window
at the daughter
pushing a blue dumpster
direct under my apartment window
puttin’ her broad back into it
Then the
torrent begins

the son throwin’ his dad’s comic books
out the window

Dan Connolly rushes to the door
throws it open
Hey! Them’s worth money!
Your dad collected thirty years

Fuck you, you worthless old fart
yells the son from the window
throwin’ out another armload
missing the wide mouth of the dumpster
even the possibility of money
not enough to keep the oaf
from trashin’ his old man
now he’s finally got the chance
free and clear

Dan Connolly rushes behind the bar
grabs his sawed-off
but I head him off
say, Whoa Seabiscuit
You get put in jail
who pours my Bushmills?

He stands there breathin’ hard
I start countin’ the breaths
When I get to 38
he lets the gun slump
like erectile dysfunction
goes behind the bar
changes the TV channel
I dislike that Judge Judy, he says

Then the door flies open
the son standing there
all lit up from behind
He yells at me:
I want your saggy ass out of that apartment by sundown

That’s my apartment, I scream
Been payin’ the rent from the get-go

As I finish
Dan Connolly comes out from behind the bar
with his sawed-off


Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois was born in the Bronx and now splits his time between Denver and a one-hundred-and-twenty-year-old, one room schoolhouse in Riverton Township, Michigan. His short fiction, poetry and columns have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” published in The Examined Life in 2012. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is available for all e-readers for 99 cents. A print edition is available through Amazon.

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