smoky eyes, steel ribbons
thereís a poem here. right here in this picture
even here in the wasted, beat-up side of town
Ďhood that died years ago
they never got around to burying it
train pulled in to sleep at the station a few blocks
from here. I needed a sandwich, a shot & a beer.
& thatís all I expected from this gimpy night.
sometimes fate with dark hair & smoky eyes falls
right outa the blue.
she walked into the bar behind two other girls, all of
them workin the late shift. the first two hookers took
a booth, joined quick by sailors anxious to make shore
leave a night to brag about. she eased real lady-like
onto a stool, the barkeep setting her up with a gingery
drink in a coupe wineglass, mustíve been her usual.
we made brief eye contact, each of us a little curious. then
she surveyed the room for possible clients. she gave me
another approach. Ďmaybe itís your lucky night, Soldier.í
Ďmaybe it ainít,í I said; I wasnít the love-for-sale type.
she sat quiet, exhaling smoke toward the neon lights. lights
making tiny explosions in her hair, that all of a sudden
intrigued me. the silhouette outlining her rounded curves,
the swirling ringlets escaping from her lips, & maybe the
loneliness of broken nights & weeping trains, ganged up
on me to shoot holes right thru the heart of my resolve.
she felt me watching her, & she knew too well the look in
my worn-down eyes. she took my hand & we left the bar.
her room was shabby & typical of the surrounding dereliction,
but the misery of it faded in the heat of her tarnished beauty.
I lowered my head to rest it on the invitation of her open
sweater. she held me firmly; the feeling was so close to good
that it was almost real. I threw some wrinkled bills on the
dresser, & we stripped off our barriers of shame.
the rest of the story is sex Ė sex with a paid whore. but maybe
it was something finer: the unsanctioned ecstasy that two
strangers discover in each otherís arms, in the naked dark, in
a nameless town a long way from heaven. if itís a fantasy, itís
the fantasy that I write here, & offer to you.
at sunrise, I had a train to board. there would be another poem
further down the tracks. there always isÖ