Simon Costello

Simon Costello

Having a Piss With You

There’s a movie playing on the telly up in the corner of the chippers.
The one where John Wayne gets punched
in his sunburnt mouth,

how he does that thing men do
where they lift their fingers to their nose
and check for blood.

I wish these nights didn’t end in standoffs.
Where I don’t cheat at cards and
no one burns down the brothel.

Listen. You can hear the scene where
John kicks the guy through the swinging doors
of the saloon, orders him to count ten paces.

Maybe one day you’ll jump me outside Supermacs.
Maybe you’ll fire and I’ll rise from the dead,

the hot bullet still twisting
in the hip flask
of my breast pocket,

and how it burns like the silence between men
when they piss next to each other
at urinals.

Here! Shhh,
this is the best bit,
before your order gets called
close your eyes:

If you listen carefully
you can hear the rifle crack,

the boot spurs
jamming into the belly,

the sigh the effects guy makes
when he uses wire
to make the horse fall.

SIMON COSTELLO’s poems are published in The Poetry Review, The Stinging Fly and New England Review. His debut pamphlet Saturn Devouring is published by The Lifeboat Press, April 2024.