Denizens: DebbiebyThe Mutt©
Debbie was fading like the expensive blue jeans
that were painted on her womanly hips.
She was as brittle as the spray of hair that haloed her gaudy face,
and caught blonde-seeking eyes from across the bar.
She hadn't bought a drink since 1979,
and hadn't gone home sober since the senior prom.
She perched on a corner stool, an eagle on a crag,
scanning the crowd for Rolex fish to grasp in blood-red talons.
She knew just how to silhouette her basketball breasts
against the glow of the playoffs on the big screen TV.
She could feel the eyes on them like teenaged hands,
clumsily clawing for nipples under the wire and lace.
Silicone tickets that opened all doors
and kept the whiskey sour and the appetizers hot,
she brushed rose blush between them, to deepen the lure,
and sheathed them in cashmere that begged to be touched.
Debbie called one her pride and the other her joy,
and they threatened her buttons when she'd laugh too loud
at a salesman's jokes, just a little too dirty
to tell a nice girl in a place like this.
She'd lay her hand gently on his wedding band
and pat it just twice as she stood up to whisper
that she had to go tinkle, so don't run away;
soft breath in his ear and hard breasts on his back.
In the ladies room mirror she'd count every year
between her and the prom queen that she'd been in school,
who stroked cocks and egos in stairwells and cars,
and ignored the whispers that swirled in her wake.
She'd remember the boy in the red Gran Torino,
who'd written “UOY EVOL I” in the steam on the windshield,
and taken her cherry and left her a daughter
to kill in a clinic across the state line.
She searched for that girl in the faces of strangers,
and looked for “I love you” each night after work.
But she settled for "want you" and "need you" and "fuck you",
she settled for cocktails and “promise I'll call you”,
she settled on a barstool, adjusted her pride and joy,
shook out a Marlboro and waved it in surrender,
and she waited, a little longer every time,
for a strong hand to steady, and for fire to breathe.