Monday, November 12, 2001

it's just not the same

There is a girl who slow dances
by herself
atop New York buildings in sub-zero fog
to scratchy old records.

Lou Reed sings "Berlin" while minor piano chords strike dusty strings, isolated, in the background.
"It was so very nice."
Sharp lines streak down her face and neck,
Red hairdye dissolved in sweat,
Mascara runs in tears and smears over frosted cheeks.
Tattoos and distorted images of shadows shimmer over delicate nose and mouth,
They flash Japanese phonetic characters that speak
stories of dead boyfriends and late nights
of pot-smoke, Trivial Pursuit, and rum-fueled conversations.

She stretches her arms around her hips and neck,
remembers the hands that used to rub her there.
Licks caked up lipstick,
Applied in preparation for a night that never happened
as it begins to crack.
The lips fall apart and tremble open into a
faint frown.
Hold herself tighter and tries to recall good days...
when there were two empty glasses at the night's close instead of
one.

Clenches her body but it's just not enough.
Hands are too stiff... too cold...

"Lord, it was paradise."

Around 2, at last, she walks back to the door.
Gives one last look at the empty table,
longs for someone to be there,
but turns and realizes
he's not coming...

just like every other night.

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