ARTHUR AND LILY
HOTEL ROANOKE
Our bodies sway in
tandem.  I move inside the
odor of your suit,
your Old Spice after shave, and
your starched white dress shirt.
A lace of bourbon teases
my mind away from
the crowd and into the song
we dance to.  One from
the old days.  I am inside
the music with you.
I taste your neck, and you lift
my hand palm down in
yours, circle your arm farther
round the small of my 
back and lower, tightening
me to you, even
now, as the music takes me
where you are.  I still
float comfortably into
you, my brittle hips
figure eighting against you
until the music
stops and you pause that extra 
second, as always,
almost nothing in real time,
wrapping me in the 
last phrase from the saxophone.
The next song begins.
Still inside the old music
you whisper to me.
I know the words, but I have
gotten too old to hear them.
"Improvisation"
Painting by Richard Garrison

Poem reprinted with permission of LSU Press.
© 2006