Following My Muse
I wait in the living room,
Lie on the couch pretending to read the TV Guide,
Crunch on a half-pale apple,
And slowly lower my head
To the cola-stained yellow pillow, feigning sleep,
Until she has gone.
Slipping out the door in a cloud of "Emeraude" and ambrosia,
Her long hair wild, her grey eyes lined with kohl.
The whiskey-smooth roar of the Mustang
Swells and fades from the garage and down the road,
And I vault from the sofa,
Grabbing jacket and keys from the peg by the lightswitch,
And slam out the door into the August night.
Keys clang-crash to the sidewalk,
And I scoop them up,
Cursing and running, running and cursing
To the Caprice and its blue bulk
Hulking in the gaping-open garage.
I back out, skid a reverse u-turn into my own grass,
And slide, foot tapping on the gas,
Hands thumping on the wheel,
Out into the street,
And searching wildly
For the familiar cigarette-glow beacon of her taillights.
I slide the Chevy into a spot
On the alley-side of the first bar between home
And the great black west,
And sure enough, the Mustang, still warm, is parked skew-wise
In the neon glow of a Budweiser sign,
Bouncing line-dance music off its cherry paint job.
I poke my head in the door,
Bobbing among the smoke-blind crowd
To the bar and a Bailey's, and a table in the back.
She is dancing in the center of the room,
Ash-hair halo-ing her face, eyes bliss-closed,
Swaying to Brooks and Dunn
As if it were "Hotel California,"
And leading a maypole dance
Of cowboy-booted admirers
Who slide in close,
But never dare to touch.
I sit at the back and sip my Irish cream,
Eyes smarting from the smoke dragons
Floating between her and me.
I take out my Papermate,
And, looking at her,
Begin to scribble.
As if she can hear the scratch of pen on paper
Over the fiddles and scooting boots,
She opens her eyes
And smiles at me,
Shining through the smoke.
I raise my glass,
Mouthing, "If you love something, let it go."
She flips me the finger.
She's a tramp, but I love her;
She's a stone-cold bitch,
But she's mine.