“Some Nights” — Justin Bendell


They talk like this.
You get used to it.
You get used to talk like this. You get to like it.
There is comfort in the way some of these folks talk.
The things they say.
—I didn’t flush it, I ate it.
—Her fart smelled bad. That’s why I shot her.
—Malcolm thought he could swim. But he couldn’t.
—I ain’t drinking. I already drank.
—I ain’t high. I’m fucking drunk you fucking pig.
—Che tossed the gun and Jo-Jo caught it wrong.
—Jo-Jo thought liquor fixed gunshots.
—Geena tossed her cooks on the hooker.
—I hate your guts.
—I hate you guts.
—I hate your guts.
—Die you fucking pig.
—Die you fucking fag pig.
—Fucking traitor pig.
—Fucking pig.
—Fucking pig narc.
—Fucking spook.
—I hate your fucking guts.
You get used to it. You get to like it. Some of the talk.
Some of the things are cute and when I think of these things I smile.
It reminds me of certain nights.
The things they say punctuate my nights.
They give punctuation to the endless sentence of my life.
You get to thinking about the violence of these words, and you start thinking of it as affection, to thinking there is affection in their hatred.
You get to thinking, well at least someone feels enough to shout things like this at me.
This up-swell of hate is almost love.
At least someone hates me.
It’s something.




Originally from the Midwest U.S., Justin Bendell lives and teaches in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he edits the Manzano Mountain Review, co-hosts Point Blank—a podcast about noir, hardboiled, and detective fiction—and records music under various monikers including fuguers cove and The Burning Silos. His stories and poems have appeared in Meridian, 3:AM Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Thuglit, Washington Square Review, etc. He loves the desert.

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