Dexter Gordon’s tenor sax
plays “April in Pairs”
inside my head all the way back
on the bus from Double Bay.
Round Midnight, the 50’s,
cool cobblestone streets
resound footsteps of Bebop
musicians with whiskey-laced voices
from a boundless dream in French,
Bud, Prez, Webster and The Hawk,
their names run together
like mellifluous riffs.
Painful gods jive talk through
bloodstained reeds and shiny brass
where music is an anesthetic.
Unreadable faces from the human void
float like torn pages across the bus windows.
An old anger drips into my throat,
and I try thinking something good,
letting the precious bad
settle to the salty bottom.
Another scene keeps repeating itself:
I emerge from the dark theater,
passing a woman who graps her red purse
and hugs it to her like a heart attack.
Tremolo. Dexter comes back to rest
behind my eyelids. A loneliness
lingers like a sliver needle
under my black skin,
as I try to feel how it is
to scream for help
through a horn.
A loneliness lingers,
like a silver needle under my black skin.
No horn to scream through for help,
Only the music of Dex, Bud, Prez, Web
and the Hawk come to visit
Let the precious bad settle to the salty bottom –
Hoping all is well with you and yours,