Imagine me in a man’s arms.
The buttons of my dress pressed into his shirt.
Music and evening sun and
The kind of heat that gives sheen to everyone’s skin.
I taste my man’s sweat as I kiss his chest where
His shirt is unbuttoned to his breastbone.
I lay my forehead where I’ve kissed him.
I can smell us both.
Feel his lips in my hair.
This life.
This need to seep into and love not only him,
But what is around us.
The laughing, drunk sixty-year old woman in the corner,
Low slung orange satin frilled dress and
Puckered breast,
Red lips reciting poetry she composed yesterday
To a young maie admirer, a student of her life.
He wants her thirst for life.
My lover holds my waist.
Our hipbones find anchor in each other.
Old men’s eyes gleam.
They smoke cigars and drink local brandy.
They watch us dance and sing.
Their voices add to the slow, gut-drive of a trumpet.
Then Billie Holiday’s voice.
It’s good to be who I am,
In my lover’s arms.
I think of our bed and the stone floor.
Shutters-never curtains.
The bristling, hot human night outside.
My love, I call him.
My love.