Nobody tells you that love is half jazz singer, half circus freak.
The bone of his blues and the bright tiger shine of your skin.
The blue moon the night you were swooning to lose.
The booze moon the night he came back, tapping.
The straps on your safety net straining, the rain on your stomach,
his back again always comes back again, crooning.
The record wants to be sung. The record wants to be scratched hard.
The album is rattled and hummed. The album is every man
you have sent packing. The liner note: you want them all back.
So what happens now in this sawdust seduction: the elephant
eats its own weight in desire while your stomach growls.
Close your eyes if you want but the chorus goes on –
appetite swings the trapeze of black hips while swing kids
come licking the lips of the first law of physics.
In this back alley legend of love, here’s the real kick:
A body in motion keeps blues moving into the mouth of the sax.
A body at rest doesn’t know that it’s already dead.
– With a nod to Billie Holiday