If you didn’t know my name until now
it was not for lack of trying
to get my voice heard over or under
the hubbub. Tell you what: I’ll confess all
I am if you pay me like a true whore,
which I am. That and more. Give me some time.
Jim likes to call me a whore after words.
He ought to know, that’s why he hangs out here,
where we met one night at the next table,
Connie coming by to take my order
and Jim introducing me: The writer,
he called me. I said I had rent to pay.
My place is across the street. She shows up
with a gentle knock and I open up.
You know the rest. She pays the rent. I give
as good as I get and there are no strings
to pull, she has a home away from home,
I find out her red hair is real down there.
Don’t think I like the life I never owned.
I love life’s blessings, all of them women.
They gave me my first taste in the lowlands.
You could say they pimped me among their friends.
We all lived under the hill, Capitol.
We were young long before the Space Needle.
Connie says once her husband took her up
to dine with him and all his shady friends.
He pimped her out going down. He left town.
She begged off, she couldn’t be late for work.
She is my elder, though she married young.
She says the way I fuck I pimp myself.
It’s Anna keeps me coming back to school,
Latin and Shakespeare and my embouchure
Paul says needs work. Anna says, Read Browning,
he knows how to speak through other voices.
When you get around to the sax, Paul says,
your lip will feel at home with all the reeds.
(20 January 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander