- Kiernan Michau, "Sophisticated Lady" (Sep 19, 2010)
An olive-skinned woman in a ruby satin dress
lazily swishes her martini in a long-stemmed glass.
She rests at the end of the bar
tendrils of smoke blur the curves of her face.
Her posture flawless,
her free hand lightly caressing her thigh,
she surveys the muted room with familiarity,
A wisdom that softens her lips
and hardens her eyes.
She is noticed, and she knows it.
But an air of respect diffuses the scent of carnal desire,
saturating the crisp suits and pearly tablecloths,
allowing her to glow in the periphery
like the candle on the rim of a bathtub.
Greetings are answered with a gentle smile.
Propositions politely refused with a shake of the head.
Veteran patrons don’t linger to chat,
but leave her to her drink and consideration.
She holds a vigil every night,
The same drink, the same bar stool,
The same tired, defiant glimmer in her eye.
Her head tilts elegantly at the sound of the saxophone
And somehow, the newcomers know she has them all figured out.
What she doesn’t know
is that I can see her
all the way through
and her sophistication is my graceful attempt
to cling to my soulfulness
to prevent its being suppressed into silence
by a distant refinement
separating me from desire
and the pounding of my heart.