Baby Please Don’t Go

–For Tachi

When longing and loss
prey upon my mind
I grab a Bb harp
and sing Big Joe Williams’ words  in F.

“Oh Baby Please Don’t Go,”

I  imagine standing on a levy
along a forlorn stretch of the Mississippi
on a hot summer day.
The heat slows everything

“Oh Baby Please Don’t Go,”

down to a slow-motion crawl.
The lazy brown water
carries troubles and mirth
down to the sea.

“Baby please don’t go down to New Orleans,
You know I love you so.”

Take comfort in knowing
the water flows endlessly
though it’s never the same river twice.
Kon-pie!

Blue Nikes

No Blue Nikes were harmed in the writing of this little ditty.

The TV went dark. “She shoulda paid the electric bill. What’m I gonna do now?  Two words. Blue Nikes.” It’s so dark he can’t see his hand in front of his face. “Basement apartment. She’s gotta get a better place.”

He gingerly slides off the bed and lands on his knees.  Socks in the dark. Sticky underwear. “Pants, pants, pants. He reaches under the bed. Dust bunnies cling to his fingers. He shakes his hands. Clots of hair cling to his skin.

On the other side of the bed. Russian hands and Roman fingers find a pair of crumpled panties, which he reflexively lifts to his nose. His pulse quickens momentarily as a chthonic olfactory wake parts the waters of his chi.

“Blue Nikes.” His mantra brings him back to the task at hand. His fingers go slack and the panties fall to the carpet.

She heaves a sigh followed by a stifled whimper. A teacher once told him dream utterances flow up from the unconscious. He holds his breath to listen for somebody else’s name. Her breathing resumes its autonomic rhythm. No deep insights tonight.

He crawls across a deep pile tundra and aims in the direction of the unseen door. Blue Nikes keep him going forward. A smile brushes his lips.  The suede tickles his fingertips as he caresses the swoosh. “Upside down Pumas.”  Click. The door closes behind him as he slips into the night just ahead of Young Dawn’s fingertips of rose. His Blue Nikes squeak on the marble floor.