b.z. niditch | the end of the day

Still from The Cheaters (Les tricheurs) (1958) by Marcel Carné


Everything was closed
human darkness
and I’m sitting
with a few francs
eating chocolate
in the movie theater
hearing Dizzy play
in the French film
by Marcel Carne
“The Cheaters”,
anguished from cold
from a hellish fog
with a watery eyed
blown wind outside
spilling its acidity
from an ashen sky
at a rainy matinee,
my coat soon splashed
at me down to earth
leaving my bicycle
to wrestle with death
on the icy road
feeling wolf-like
this late afternoon
in front of me,
with no Paris lights
on the stilled town square
knowing I have to play sax
without much time
from luckless words
filling my belly
and a hunger
berates this foreign body
by a grass fire field
smoking weed
with a blue beret
over my leafy eyes,
a moving van
with no signals
rages by me
eighty miles an hour,
as fate hamstrings
every new passerby
when a hostile guy
decked out
in shredded shadows
almost knocks
me down
tossing out glances
with expletives
sputtering out
of nowhere,
from a consumed
face to face
with street smart anger
of a life time
yet tunes improvise
and slide on my sax
at the tips of my fingers
with the wish
that no invading force
will block the back roads,
for my audible voice
has the magic vibrancy
of a serpent’s tongue
in a poet’s consuming fire
chomping through
my arrival at the scene
jarring my memory
of every criminal attempt
to take my life.

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