Leave Your Hat On
I had a dream. You were in it. I was in it with you.
In this dream, this late summer dream,
born of angel wings and cobwebs,
of too many birthdays and graying hair,
I arrive in a bar from our days together,
body young and taut beneath that red hat
you gave me, breasts ripe with hope.
I search for ‘that’ song on the juke…
The one about the hat.
Newman’s version not Cocker’s.
Newman does it—real slow.
How many times did I dance it for you
in our moonlit room in the commune?
Piano building, Randy coaxing,
I kick off my shoes, climb onto a chair,
wiggle my hips.
Interest rises beneath every belt.
Bar stools implode.
The men toss clever lines to net this tease,
this wanton witch on a chair, but I dance
only for you, dear, hope the heat lures you
back one more time.
Song ending, absence overwhelming,
I rush past greedy fingers,
already transforming back into
an aging, dream-groggy woman
lost to the heart-breaking night.
You’ve only known me
with my body slain and
curled deep into soft spaces
dreaming of billowing sails
bike rides, hair flying,
along dawn-pink ocean swells.
You’ve only seen me with my brain
in under-drive, thoughts short-circuited.
A turtle could outpace me now.
Soil from the grave dropping
to reveal your translucence,
you speak to me of days
we wished we would have had together,
days when our bodies were unbreakable,
minds yet unseared by loss.
I reach out my hand, console air,
tell you we’ll talk when our spirits
both ride the wind.
Night Wind is from her lastest chapbook, Postscripts to the Dead. Free PDF downloads that can be read on IPads are available at MagCloud.com