Red

He was slightly overcast
Grey, heavy eyes
Hair like storm clouds
Above his brow
At the bar he sits, hunched
Against his own weather
In the lee of florescent lights
As a moth seeking the moon
He has fluttered to the Juke Box
Recalling youth to old dreams
Bruce Springsteen quietly croons
To his whiskey

Feet sucking at the stool
Like a vine of ivy
Drawing vitality from the din
Of good intentions building bridges
All the way to Hell
Eyes squinting in the glare
Of young love with their bright smiles
More comfortable in the shadow
Of his woe
Jameson is the only one
Who gives him warm kisses

“Want to dance?”
Says Ruby Lips
He smells shampoo and desperation
Slipping from his perch
Like a drunken David
He takes her proffered hand
Around the floor like Autumn leaves
Blown by a wind of song
They twirl and spin in the smokey glare
Scuffed old leather boots
Lightly court the pink sandal straps
Just as two butterflies
In a patch of clover
Flirt with Spring

He buys her a drink
Something sweet
Like the girl she was
When freckles on her nose
And scabs on her knees
Where beautiful
He makes her smile
The way men do
When they are fishing
But when she takes the bait
Leans in for a kiss
He gently removes the hook
Looks off into the empty night
Let’s her swim away in the inky black

He knows he is just a wounded bird
Fallen from the nest
And she, a well-intentioned savior
With a shoe box and an old shirt
Who’s bleeding heart will mourn
When he refuses to dine upon her charms
And starves himself amid a feast
Of “honey how was your day?”
For wild spirits like his own
Cannot be fed with cold dead meat
No matter how loving the hand
That warms it

*Dedicated to Red, who should have gone home with her
Jameson is an Irish whiskey

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