The following poem is a follow-up to Redolence, and was inspired by the same almost-couple. In fact, this poem is a spin-off of a poem my friend wrote for his “princess,” so I cannot claim originality of idea, but only of expression.
For “C&B,” or rather, for my friend and his former Princess.
“Love is not a victory march. It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.” ~ Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
She kisses one more cigarette.
Around her lips, a hazy cloud.
The words he’s said, and said again,
he steels himself to speak aloud.
Tonight perhaps, the scene will play
the way it’s scripted in his head:
His sixteenth drink; a tipsy croon;
her gypsy eyes an ink-black moon…
He stumbles when he sees her dance–
the curves and lines he aches to fill–
and so he moves, and so he hopes
maybe she will, she will, she will.
A lull in the night’s bacchanal;
He’s so close he could skim her skin.
The words fall clumsy one by one.
Her face is icy when he’s done.
She could be made of Arctic wind
for all the feeling in her eyes.
His alcohol-drenched nerves collapse
against his will, and so he cries.
She dances ‘round him, always close
enough for his blind hands to touch.
He dares to grab, she pulls away,
He draws her close, she cannot stay–
but her lips do, and drink their fill
till liquid-boned he seems to die.
She loves him not, declares her words–
But her kiss says, “Another try.”