Sax Named Pegasus

by Paula Ray

He had that not-interested-come-hither look
with a too-cool-to-smile upward nod.
Shaggy beast with bad ass tattoos displayed
on his biceps, flexing as he stroked the cue.

She was the pocket watch, bend-over girl,
with a love-me-deadly-daddy-done-me-wrong-pout.
No teeth were flashing, but the fangs were visible.
The prowl was on and I was just sitting in the corner

Stirring my stories with a straw that sucked characters
out of bars. Needed something to soothe this burn
in my gut. Watched the exit like a hungry badger
ready to bite at the fresh air if it slapped me in the face.

Don't like cigarettes, but the smoke swirled a mean
dream around scenes that came alive in a marijuana
dojo where karate matches looked unrehearsed,
there were no bows at the beginning or the end
of kicks and board breaking chops.

I had a gig-bag hanging on the chairback, unzipped,
wide-mouthed staring at the drunk geezer
burping up acid from a liver gone sour-milk
and he had the guts to smile at me.

Handed him a roll-over-pass-out-tablet
with get-a-life-grampa eye-roll-politeness,
but he took it like a man and I gave him
half a smile for having stamina in this marathon.

Back to the game, my eyes caught pinky peacock prancing
swaying lick-me-now invitations Rockhead's direction and he
showed what he wanted from her with tongue rimming a slick
long necked bottle that went in a bit too far as he drank.

He chugged it all down, swallowed hard, and turned his head
and said "ahh" with a raised get-the-idea-brow. And she did.
Wasn't long before she was bottom-lip-biting-hair-flipping
toward him, making sure she jiggled on the down beat.

Nothing ever changed much except the posters on the wall. I checked
the set list on breaks and held the paper like a "do not disturb" sign.
Guys in the band went out panty-huffing Mary Jane in a old bread truck.
I scribbled my escape, counting call-me dollars from the tip jar.

Sometimes, that jar seemed to be my bra. Should have sewn
a little pocket to fit their cop-a-feel hands, but I didn't
want no look-up-your-skirt compliments. I wanted to shut
my eyes and grab my sax like he was Pegasus and fly away.