By Patrick Ryan Frank
A man in Manila is killed for singing Sinatra
off-key in a smoke-filled karaoke club.
It isn’t the first time some happily half-drunk tough
opened his mouth and another pulled out a gun
or a knife and everybody’s good time went bad.
And I understand. I’ve never hit a man
but there’ve been many men at bars and parties
who’ve spilled their drinks or laughed too loud or said
the wrong thing or haven’t said anything at all.
The fist pulls itself. The fingers bend
into the pretty idiotic mouths.
I want to show everyone how it should be done
so hard that most of the time I have to hold
my body tightly still, a back-up singer
on a hazy stage, waiting for the beat.