Slow Burn


The music stopped
The band’s out back counting greasy ones and fives
Smoking, jackets over shoulders, collars undone
The joint’s a forest of chair legs
Edging a clearing of whiskey amber light
Circling, circling
Two pairs of weary feet wearing whorls into the floorboards.

Staggering up against the fag end of night
Not so much dancing as holding each other up
Hands covered in blood
Sewing up old wounds with ribbons
Desperate triage for grey dish rag wrung out limbs
Telling out rosaries of lonely, one bitter bead at a time
Clinging to the other heads just above freezing water.

Spars and flotsam
Swirling up on the shores of happenstance
Tied together by wires of disappointments, missed chances
Too much or not enough
Strangers married by their scars
Invisible threads pulling raw aching red lipped bloody kisses
Hung up and spinning from a rusty chandelier
Two broke limbed marionettes.

Clinging to the tatters of the night
Hands white knuckling back the dawn
Refugees belly to belly
Throbbing need grinding out slow shuffle time
Castaway souls tangled and tied
Fever cheek glow flickering
Dripping cinders and ash like paper winged angels
Burning down together.

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2 Responses to “Slow Burn”

  1. Sad, but wonderful imagery and emotion.

  2. memphicago Says:

    it’s jazz and elder kin
    the double-edged sword of cool

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