Some of those who frequent the bars are waiting for something to happen. Possibilities multiply with Cognac and smoke.

Every night the nooks get sqeezed tight with searches. Barely visible in hazy red lights and gauzy air, and there are secrets and music.

I was perplexed by drumming with trumpets coming from outside a bar one night, and I was certain it was Ravel but next to me the jukebox busted it away. I jumped. He laughed. Touched my arm.

His foxglove eyes making me look
toward the match bowl to think
about riding a bike on a warm evening,
taking a bath
and eating an apple,
to help me keep calm and distant.

Soon of course someone has to play a sexy song. It plays when he is talking to a blonde in a far corner. My friends blinks at me, waiting.

If you go away, what will I have to do? Will I continue as a separate entity, will I cover my eyes, adorn a chip close to my neck, pressing at my artery?

If you go away will I retreat
to my sad shack, shuffling, dour,
keeping my tattered Kafka at my side.
No longer limber, failing to leap.
No longer a lover of lightening storms.
No longer a storm.

If you go away, could I surpass
this bitter junk,
stretch my legs-- leap,
embrace my stronger instincts
and the capricious world before me?
Could I undo my previous notion, the illusion
of only being safe in your arms?
If you were gone, could I tread ground intrepidly,
allow the risk,
touch persimmon,
drink the sun?

At my friend’s house I spread my body on the living room’s burgundy carpet, the top of my head touching her boom box speakers. I listen to a song this way to make my skin vibrate. I am almost sober. Dizzy mostly by the possibility of cigarettes and bruised apples in the bath while he smiles in another corner.

"A solitude ten thousand fathoms deep
Sustains the bed on which we lie, my dear;
Although I love you, you will have to leap;
Our dream of safety has to disappear."
-- Leap Before You Look by W.H. Auden

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