The woman sits alone at night,
Haloed in the glow of a puffed upon cigarette,
Humming vespers with the radio,
Clutching her high school clarinet.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Dance together at the Ritz.
Benny Goodman and his band
Each Sunday night parade the hits.
Having forgot notes to the tune
That made her swoon so long ago,
I watch in pallor the kitchen cold silhouette
Pour another tawny port.
In crystal night from a streetlamp light
I smell the stench as the bottle broke,
Hear the gurgle of stifled tears
And burn my lungs with yellow brown smoke.