loose women blues
there are good girls & there are bad girls, & usually
it’s hard to tell the difference. they can switch sides
quick & easy to get what they want.
so Karrie is a good girl. she took me in when I was
broke & wasted, ragged as a stray dog. she makes
a good roast beef sandwich & the beer’s always
cold. but she wants more than kitchen duty, washing
socks & mopping up the bathroom floor.
she gets that hungry look in her eyes, the kind that
can burn a man down to his ashes, like a scarecrow
in a bonfire; drops him like a wounded bear into the
perfumed sanctum of her bed.
but it’s Rita’s eyes that haunt me still, long after I
came-to alone in the cold sheets, not knowing why
she wasn’t there or how I’d get her back. it was
Rita whose kiss I tasted, whose needs I’d supply,
by hard labor or by crime.
if she wanted a diamond with a heart of fire, & it
was only mined in hell, I’d go there & steal it for her.
I’d kill for her, because she looked at me. she looked
at me just like that.
…the night sky is big, it holds a lot of things: rain clouds,
mostly, but beyond those, a crushing crowd of stars & on
some nights an oversized moon. if there are stars, Rita’s
wishing on one, or several. if there’s a moon, it’s even
worse, because she told me once that she sees the face
of the man she loves in the leer of the moon.
maybe it’s me & maybe it’s not, but one night I won’t let her
search the sky for that moon, winking at lovers & whispering
wishes, because I will be there, staring right at her.
one evening after sunset, my quest began; when a man goes
out to hunt a woman, it happens at night. I grabbed my bag &
made for the door, so Karrie played her last hole card: ‘what
do you chase her for, Johnny? she’s a whore!’
before I walked out, I looked at her for the last time.
‘baby, we’re all whores…’