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.
A mass of tangled limbs we cling to each other. I hold tight to baby sister as we toss about the dank floor of the vessel, its boards pelted by the spray of high swells. Her sweet scent distinguishes her from the others, she has the smell of a blossoms freshly picked. . Just yesterday we were lingering along the dirt road that leads from the old school house to our home of splintered walls and concrete floors ignoring by instinct the slant eyes of men driving an old van closer and closer. Our school books scattered on the path, muffled cries drowned under rumbling motors. Miles from home we are fed La Rochas to soothe us into sweet fevered dreams. Waking in a perfumed world of pale pink sarongs and silk fans. The slits of a man’s eyes behind angry walls.
Here on the balcony I let the cool air and a majestic linden tree with its dark leaved branches reach out to soothe me but the night conjures memories from the past that I try to blow away in the smoke of my cigarette. In the back of my mind I recall a girl, a fragility in leather. Did she exist or is she a construct of my brain? I try to drown out my thoughts with some blues. I am going somewhere I really don’t want to go and tonight I am breathing just for the light.