The Night, the City
The boardwalk is a canvas
For sound in the night,
Hard leather striking fissured cypress,
Dark music for a luminescent orb,
Alone in a crowded indigo expanse
Hung over a silent, yet torrid river.
Such a setting for the night, the city
As footfalls echo the solitary thoughts,
Then you stop,
Long pull on a cigarette,
Single ember gleaming,
Smoke swirling in the chilled air.
With more force than it takes
You toss the live stub into the river,
Hear the pfist of its death,
And descend the levee steps.
The street greets you,
Rain and loss add a glazed look,
Your steps, undaunted, yet without purpose,
Ring clear along your clouded path.
Couples walk, hand-in-hand, along the brick banquet,
Their shy glances secretive
And you do not care.
A short burst of music from a bar
Blooms like a time-elapsed photo–
Dwindles just as quickly.
You pull your collar up against the noise and chill
And look for a place to light.
A bar, cloaked in quiet, pulls you in.
You smell stale beer and cigarette smoke
And still find a seat at the end of the bar.
You order whiskey without a call
And absently light a cigarette.
Smoke rises, yet the whiskey is still dark
Behind the billowy shroud.
You hear a soft ballad from the jukebox
But lose its meaning
In the acrid taste of whiskey and smoke.
A single bark of laughter awakens you.
You drop your cigarette into the whiskey,
Turn and leave the bar
Into the night
Where the city awaits.
The Night, the City © 2014 John Eagle