I'm a lot of things. But for the time you read this, you can call me yours :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

52nd Street

Davis places a nickel into the meter.

He says nothing. He walks to the corner and watches the sun set,

the ocean of light receding to a beach the color of graves

saves his voice for a woman he knew his whole life would be waiting there.


refracts through the air like a lighthouse beacon through fog.

Belle says nothing. She is waiting for a man she doesn't even know

to look her way and say


did you know a fault line lies under New York City?

When she answers correctly,

as she's never sure she will with hard questions about geology,

she will notice him there, making echoes on the earth in tribute

to her tectonic skin

her smile, causing her brow and her mouth to move like mountains.

He is only a player in the most literal sense.

Never much for big band, just steel strings in hand and her,

his muse, hallowed be her harp-string of a heart,

thumping to the rhythm of black-and-blue ruckus,

prayers to gods of memory loss and escape.

Fate finds Davis miles away from himself -

kind of blue, or kind of silent. Tonight,

he is a million sacrifices of soundwaves

not knowing true love's real name,

gambling like the lord is coming tomorrow

so he must sin well tonight...

Safety safely secured me a seat at a feast

when all I want is a sandwich with you.

Belle smiles bashfully,

feeling bold in a sleepless city

roused from half-real reveries.

Name the time and place,

she says, feet shaking and tapping to the rhythm of rolling rocks.

Belle begins moving, dancing like she forgot what year it is

what block she was on

who she was waiting for.


His hand glides up and down the neck of the instrument

like a lover just returned blind from the war

as its case lies discarded as last night's mistakes on the sidewalk.

He holds it firm, praying this is the day an upright bass becomes a love poem


Wow, if pretty could kill, you'd be the Manhattan Project.

And he'd be the last survivor.

And she'd be the last thing he'd be alive for.

As Davis plucks strings like he is a puppetmaster

and Belle dances like a liquid Pinocchio

but she only wants to lie with him

as the quake hits crescendo

and the notes

become notes, strips of papyrus carved with quartz saying

You are the rhythm playing inside me

and I lose the beat enough without throwing it away.

My body is sheet music

and you sight read me flawlessly.

Courtlan did not get arrested that night.

He did not get one too many traffic tickets

and was not told to give up his car

or his jazz spot.

He gave the renaissance lovers a place to go,

didn't attract the police to Davis and Belle's loitering love poem.

On the other side of the street,

Belle dares God to snatch the papyrus from her palms,

her paper skin turning stone, glistening as she falls into

his arms like a suicide, back-first...

his hand moves up and down her neck

his instrument

his lover

his instrument

his lover...

His fingers explore her skin.

52nd street

lays scattered like a deck of cards waiting to be picked up.

All that jazz...

but what's a handful of clubs to a royal flush?

Love, Davis says

did you know a fault line lies under New York City?

Under 125th,

Belle says back.

Davis packs up his past just in time to feel the rumble of downbeat.

He takes Belle's hand, walks to the wreckage they created and says

See? It took God six days to create the Earth.

In one night, I opened it just for you.

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