She met him there. He was playing his horn
for the first time where she always stood back,
nobody behind her. He was taller
than the rest up there and he played like it,
big round full notes with lots of breath behind
each one. She had just happened to drop by.
She looked straight at him and saw him look back.
She nursed a cigarillo and a glass
of bourbon filled with ice. He came over
between sets. "What’s your name, pretty? Ira
is mine." "Adore." "Adore? Not Adora?"
"Adore." She was looking into his eyes.
"What do you do, honey?" "Don’t call me that,"
she chuckled, "That’s for fancy men. You’re not
one of them, you’re just a good looking boy
from the country, I'd venture." He nodded
with "How’d you know?" "That’s what I do, honey.
I perceive." Later he thought, That did it . . .
He returned for the next set and she left,
went home, nailed a chicken foot to the door,
the longest claw she could find to sag down
near the dirt that was threshold, that he’d pause
and pass by on his way into her house
tomorrow night, or the next night, who’d know?
He’s a good looking gentle man, tender
too I’d bet. We will see, Adore, you scamp!
She wondered how long he had been in town.
She wondered where he came from. He had eyes
full of water, like pools she could dive in
and glide to the bottom without breathing.
(30 January 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander