Wednesday, November 2, 2011

As You Leave Me

Shiny record albums scattered over

the living room floor, reflecting light

from the lamp, sharp reflections that hurt

my eyes as I watch you, squatting among the platters,

the beer foam making mustaches on your lips.

And, too,

the shadows on your cheeks from your long lashes

fascinate me--almost as much as the dimples

in your cheeks, your arms and your legs.


hum along with Mathis--how you love Mathis!

with his burnished hair and quicksilver voice that dances

among the stars and whirls through canyons

like windblown snow, sometimes I think that Mathis

could take you from me if you could be complete

without me. I glance at my watch. It is now time.

You rise,

silently, and to the bedroom and the paint;

on the lips red, on the eyes black,

and I lean in the doorway and smoke, and see you

grow old before my eyes, and smoke, why do you

chatter while you dress? and smile when you grab

your large leather purse? don't you know that when you leave me

I walk to the window and watch you? and light

a reefer as I watch you? and I die as I watch you

disappear in the dark streets

to whistle and smile at the johns

Etheridge Knight

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