Tongue in my ear at the Beauty
Bar after two for one martinis at
Café Flor with Carter and Tim,
like talking to your grandfather
except with more gold in their
mouths. Shared travel stories with
Carter, we’d been to some of the same
places. I felt old, unknowingly wise.
He said he loved her in Vietnam,
loved her on the water canals near
Bangkok, loved her even in Phnom
Phen when he saw the shrine of skulls,
when he thought there was no more
love to give. She died last month,
and I was jealous of him. Losing all
that love, that empty space inside him.
Later Megan and I buy beers, the cheap ones,
dance in the center of it all hands raised
to the sky as is if pretending for
a moment we’re not looking for love,
or a tongue, or a touch to fill ourselves up on.
We buy beers, Megan and I, the cheap ones,
ask for olives because we forgot to eat.
Stomach feels like a cave, the air growls inside.
A tongue in my ear at the Beauty
Bar, direct road to the weakest of
knees, to a shoulder, an arm spinning
me around and around, feeling that
womanly way again, finding balance
even on this sticky floor.
Tongue admires things only seen
in the dark pink light of a body
heated room. My eyes, hand, the
glowing white of teeth. The only
thing we are certain of is movement.
So we dance, dance-
fill ourselves up with that.
I hope somewhere Carter feels it too.