Unpublished work by Joseph Sulier

The following is a previously unpublished work by Joseph Sulier written in June of 2013. To keep up with Joseph and his more current work follow him @josephsulier

We should not have been where we were
as I had earlier protested
yet there we were
in a place we should not have been

As I predicted
the problems began post-haste
they called you "faggot"
and I heard them do it
but there were just too many
and none on our side
we'd never make it out in tact

"We'll catch em outside"
I said
"when they're away from the herd"
and you agreed
and so
outside we waited
on the trunk of your car
drinking beers
waiting

And there they came
the original two
with a new third in tow
no worry
we
were not worried

I approached from behind
with you following
full unopened beer can in my hand
I caught their attention
then caught the biggest
in the face
with the beer can
he merely teetered
so I followed with fists
and that took him down
while the other two looked on
bewildered

And then it went awry

We had no way of knowing
that the cops had just been called
which evacuated the party
and we looked back
to see the horde approaching

I only knew to run
there were just too many
and none on our side

And so I ran
forgetting you behind
and not as quick
I ran til I was clear
and turned
to see you surrounded
remembered the switchblade I carried
reluctantly brandished
back into the maelstrom

The man I'd hit was close behind
but startled by knife
and backed off
worked my way towards you slowly
nervous and armed

You were among a mob
and they attacked you from behind
when pushed to the ground
you were kicked in the face
breaking into two
the cartilage in your nose
spilling veins like a faucet
flowing floods onto pavement

I dispersed the circle
then found myself in the middle
with you
drunk and disoriented
helpless
the car felt miles away

I wielded the knife in circles
as they took their shots at you
brought you back to your feet
and made the miles closer
til the car was reality
but still little help

You recovered enough
to unlock the trunk
for tire iron
but were brought down again
as I pleaded for your life
and fended off again

We were suddenly without hope
and all I knew to do
was to wield
as you lay helpless and bloody on the pavement
I felt a beer can hit my throat
and struggled to breathe
while the knife was kicked away
our luck had run it's course

But I recovered the knife
eyes welling up
from lack of breath
and heard a voice demand
"What's going on here?!"
it was a neighbor
aroused by the din
and so I continued to fend off
and pled with the neighbor
"Drop the knife!"
he said
but I could not abide

The mob was confused
and began to disperse
chaos ensued
a car window was shattered with a fist
but it was not your car
rather
a car of the mobs

Their fear of police
overwhelmed their fear of knife
and we found ourselves alone
as the reds and blues approached
you were not communicating
instead
awash with blood
made thin by booze
I was cited for illegal arms
but not arrested
the police successfully sweet-talked
and leaving

I loaded you into the car
and drove us to more familiar surroundings
in your car
which you never allowed to another
to handle as I did

I was so sorry to you
an endless apology
which you would not allow
we were alive
and now
we are recalling
and alive