and All That Jazz


Pin striped men

with high-heeled women at their arms

arrive with mounted stones winking

to glitz up the night.

The notes are all hot, melting into the beat

as the band assembles

showered in a dim golden glow,

centerstage.

A black velvet dress clings to the curves

of Billie and Ella's modern-day sister

who ushers in the night

with a ringing voice of raspy sandpaper.

Undercurrents of chatter

mix with rhythm, laughter, and liquor,

in the swirling half-darkness

and smokin' sax solo.

Strolling the hazy lamplit streets,

Passers-by catch escaped notes

like children capturing fireflies

from a translated buzz.

Beneath the sound,

two dark eyes across the room

are whispering secrets

through smoky jazz standards.

Quick, practiced fingers pluck

taut metal strings

sending a vibrating sound wave

splashing into the room.

At long last,

weariness fades the night down

as the moon, sagging, lets out a sleepy yawn.

Half-filled glasses,

sloshing merrily with illuminated light,

are running dry.

The full house empties

its ladies and gents

and its pulsing energy

into the swell of the night