Blind Rage

No one knew who was truly at fault
when the truck and the car came to a halt,
bumping like bulls in the parking lot
in front of the grocery store, the spot
near the flock-cluttered cart drop-off pen,
a blind spot for the irritated men
sweating in the hot-as-hell weather,
backing out at the same time, together.
Whoever was at fault—no matter;
old man, young man, each mad as a Hatter
and balling their fists for brutal blows—
a contused chin, black eyes, a broken nose.
Their women begged them to let it go,
but the blindness doubled, blow after blow,
and each man saw nothing except red,
wanting nothing else but the other dead
till the old man got the upper hand—
that is to say, a fist packed like sand
which struck like lightning from a clear sky
so he fell to the ground, clutching his eye.
The young man had won, but still he fumed,
and his girlfriend screamed, and he just assumed
she was telling him to stop fighting,
but then came a bang, the world igniting
with a flash and smoke and a deep pain
centered in his chest, a crimson stain
spreading along his shirt, like the bloom
of a too-young carnation by a tomb.
The old man gawped, staring past the gun
with which he shot in his foe’s direction
and, as the blind rage cleared, dropped his jaw
for he had shot and killed his son-in-law.

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