Bloody Lip by Stephen J. Golds

Punk Noir Magazine

Note: This is a piece of flash fiction from the Golds’ Vaults. I wrote it when I was twenty years old. It’s interesting because I feel even 20 years later, I have kept a similar style with similar themes in my poetry. I still cringe at how bad my writing was at that time, but this is one of maybe twenty pieces I think are not so bad. Originally published at ZYGOTE IN MY COFFEE. Slightly edited here. Anyway, cheers for reading.

I had the taste of blood in my mouth.




She had hit me with a pretty good right hook. Who the hell had taught her to punch like that? Not me. I just didn’t know.

I went to the hallway mirror and she followed after. Her mouth, all teeth and rose petal lipped opening and closing — crazy obtuse shapes. I examined my own lower lip. There was a good long gash; my canine tooth had been forced into the flesh.

I stared at my reflection and thought of the wars, World War One, World War Two, Viet Nam.

She hadn’t looked the violent type at all, but I guess they never did. I decided not to clean the wound, I would let it bleed. The blood trickling down my chin, onto my vest and boxer shorts. It felt strangely heroic. I went into the living room and sat down on the settee. Placed a cigarette carefully in the side of my mouth that wasn’t bleeding.

“I said, get out of here, you piece of shit,” She screamed again from the hallway.

She threw my work boots into the living room, my work jacket followed soon after, flying past, a green, fluorescent bird crashing into the boots, covering their shame, their nakedness. 

I inhaled on my cigarette. Exhaled. Waited. Again I’d misunderstood something I was meant to have understood. Missed some kind of sign about what was wanted from me. Or something. I spent most of the time not understanding what the hell was going on with other people and what they wanted or needed.

“I told you to get the hell out. What are you waiting for? A quick fuck goodbye? Well, you can go to her for that now, can’t you”. She was in front of me waving her arms and stamping her bare feet. I think I flinched a few times.

It was the first time I ever realized there were negative consequences to my negative actions.

I’d never been punched by a woman before either. It wasn’t the last time. As a man it would be another thing never spoken of.  

I can still feel the smooth tightness of the scar with the tip of my tongue. Even now.

Can still remember her name.

It might’ve been the first time I hurt someone I might’ve loved.

It might’ve been the first time someone I might’ve loved hurt me.