[he cares for the ducks]

,-time beaten broad: there (i point my finger towards her smoke-sucked face) -

in the corner, dancing,- alone in a leather mini-skirt -

...and over there,- (just a twist of the wrist)

a gaggle of serial date rapists scream into one another's ears,-

the thudding bass keeps them (bass) from understanding (bass)

one another (bass)

...and they're doing the white guy half-dance,

trickling beer onto the floor -

we're sitting, numbfaced, (bass) - fidgeting with our beer glasses - (bass)

"how am i supposed to find a nice guy?" she yells across the table -

-"you could stop coming to bars." i scream back,

"all the nice guys are at home taking care of

injured baby ducks they brought in from the cold,-

talking to them... reading them books,-

taking their temperature."

the look on her face tells me she's only picked up bits and pieces.

(she`s not sure how to answer)

"how do you take a duck's temperature?" she asks, (bass)

-"with a thermometer."

"yeah, but where do you put it?"

(i look up to): there

where the ragged woman rubs her miniskirt against a young drunk's leg,-

and he's not having any of it - (bass)

he walks away,-

she keeps dancing, undeterred.

the drink cradled on ugly, rigid fingers.

About the author:

michael alfred peterson is a squirrel-whisperer, hand-puppet enthusiast and postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He is currently writing his second novel, tentatively titled mr. blanket and the nine detectives.