Late afternoons I sit at the counter of a small diner sipping vanilla coke watching the day turn into night or dollar green but it seems as Gershwin said, not for me. It is dog days and I am hot and tired and mostly luckless, angry too, my new love fading so soon. I dream myself into a hot soak in a fancy clawed foot bath tub sinking my dusty body into lilac scented bubbles. I imagine lying back with closed eyes as the hot water flicks at peony nipples. I am what one might call self-employed these days. Settling for a motel shower stall I scrub my body that smells of dusty magnolias with rose scented oil until it glimmers like alabaster. Slipping into a black sheath, silver seamed stockings and stiletto heels saved for the occasion, I make my way onto Bourbon Street. At the corner the sounds of a sax carries through the open door of a dimly lit bar, it drifts up the alley over the roof of a brothel falling into gentle ruin. From my booth there I stare through a prism of glass at the Dog Star and blow a kiss to the man in the moon already yawning at the deep purple sky.
At the wharf I lean back against the damp stone wall, sip my drink and yield to the slippery salamander of sea. The moon is a glistening slice of melon, her whisper carries on the wind “moon child I love you too”. Sinking deeper in to my subconscious I watch a velvet sea bird swoop my reflection from silver waves where the sighs of lovers are lost in a monsoon. Old images flicker across my frontal lobe as I liberate sip by sip. That man with the golden veins doesn’t interest me anymore. Later when my pearl skinned body breaks the surface I’ll bring him back again.
From my window a sliver of moon casts a haze over the water. I can hear the rush of soft waves. Those creatures beneath the depths, do they sleep, dream? If parted do they grieve? Down the street I can see the lights from an all night store. A man waits behind the counter. Cautiously he slips his hand under his jacket and takes a long swig from a bottle. A group of young thugs gather outside the storefront. I imagine them harming the storekeeper. Distracted by the young whore taking shelter in a doorway they laugh and whisper. Oblivious to her vulnerability she sleeps as though she has never heard of birds of prey that swoop down with jagged talons hungry for butchery. I watch intently in case I need to call out a warning but losing interest they disappear into the dark.
Maybe nothing is real. Maybe everything I see and hear is an illusion. I lose focus on the outside world and the burn of you stings relentlessly just below the surface. I want to sleep forever, not give a damn about you.
The world is wintry blue.
Vast and still yet there
is no comfort in the quiet.
The wolf inside me shakes
the snow from her fur,
travels through dark timbered
forests and blue gray mountains.
There are others moonstruck,
dusted with the same shine.
Together we trace a midnight
hover of crows unaware.
Autumn leaves have begun to fall.
Late October London is ablaze in hues of orange and purple.
On my bench by the river I daydream that I am an adolescent
reptile escaped from Kafka’s Die Verwandlung, laid back basking in the sun.
The air is layered in heavy cologne but men do not interest me now. I am content to casually observe. To my advantage I know all about them
while they know so little about me.
Thinking of you against my wishes, dying a little, dead all the sweet hope of dreams never realized, I imagine my earthly body padded, sat beside yours on a grassy knoll
Breathing in the scent of lilac and the mossy green River Delta.
In the dark I am nude but for a shadow across my torso.
You are so near and to distract my self from this burning desire
I let my thoughts linger among the lines of Roethe’s “In A Dark Time”.
Years pass and by chance we meet at the sad cafe. I sway in your arms like a fragile birch in an autumn tempest. The halo of my eyes glisten recalling how we gave away what we never really had. We hold each other knowing that love has died and we with it.
Your glass is always half empty, whiskey the color of your eyes when you are aroused. I shut my eyes and fixate on the whir of the overhead fan. When you reach for me I turn away, practicing my “out of body” I look down from above until my eyes close. Later we share a hand rolled cigarette, silently watch the curls rise and rip apart in the blades. Your soft eyes ensnare me, expose my liability. It is so easy to distract you, pulling back the sheets we laugh, make love and pull away. Your eyes are the sparkle of stardust, a boy at the top of a Ferris wheel. I swear to not meet again but my heart is a red sports car racing along a razor’s edge.
this is not meant for you
though you were there.
I am what I have always been,
an elixir of words.
I will not erode like the sand
or patience if it ever was.
Washed up on a restless shore
I knocked and you opened the door.
Now, like the pearls beneath my feet
I carry no burden save love.
Firelight dances through the bistro,
We lean in close and when our eyes meet
the rain storm streaming down the
stain glass window reclaims us.
Swept away through sea caves,
caverns and seal black maelstroms
we ride the darkness,
take only what we need.
Thieve stealing only from ourselves.