Poetry by Paula Ray

Sax Named Pegasus




He had that not-interested-come-hither look
with a too-cool-to-smile upward nod,
shaggy beast with bad ass tattoos
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 flashed, but fangs were visible.
The prowl was on and I sat in the corner

Stirring my stories with a straw that sucked characters

from bars. Needed something to soothe the burn
in my gut, watched the exit like a hungry badger,
ready to bite at fresh air if it slapped me in the face.

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

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

Handed him a roll-over pass-out-tablet
with get-a-life-grampa eye-roll-politeness.
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.

He showed what he wanted with tongue rimming a slick
long necked bottle that went too far as he drank.

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

Nothing changed much, except posters on the wall. I checked
the set list on breaks, held the newspaper 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 and counted call-me dollars in the tip jar.

Sometimes my bra got more tips than the jar, should’ve sewn
a pocket to fit those 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.




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