by David Waite
fingers of blue neon which washed her
wearing her coat of fine green satin
tied with cloth above her skirt
gray and it was rising
to mid-thigh and woven,
hair knotted in a tail,
fingers touching her lips to bring a cigarette
back to resting position;
face that’s soft and polished
with teeth set in a curve,
a dark shade of lipstick fading.
she was standing in a sunken doorway
in front of a bar on Lark Street.
twenty-four and not much younger,
said she was waiting for a man named Paolo,
at seven she tore her knee
producing a small scar that glistens—
brunette with small freckles,
she hides them all with makeup
and pretends to know a lot about movies.
she’s read French authors,
the lapels of her coat
marked with silver threading,
collar sharp as it rose behind her,
she crossed her legs as she leaned against
the gray stone beside her.
for a second she looked like
a kid on a hot sidewalk,
gray hair at forty but she’ll
pull them out at the roots,
we talked about good music
but Paolo never came;
we walked into the bar after a cigarette
both agreeing not to look behind.
Bio: David Waite was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by this editor. As well he has been recently published in Cider Press Reviews, Coal Hill Review, Aries and miller's pond. He is also the coordinating editor for the online journal Poet's Ink Review.