Last Call at the Whippoorwill

from his fingers outward to the rest of the band,
the puppeteer’s gestures swathed in echoes
 
 (keys to somethin’, somewhere)
 
 a dark little table, my cigarettes, the candle,
 a mixed drink at the end of your hand,
 a quizzical look 
 
 (ten steps below street level, the underforties disappeared)
 
 my palms cool, relaxed, full of good fortune,
 my blood a higher octane than usual,
 the surreal feel of being where you’re not—
 even when you’re there
 
 picture of Coltrane, live, on the wall
 
 we were there only 45 minutes,
 but the shadows insinuate,
 like water,
 floating 
                           everything 
                                                         since
 
 (the huffed little straw we pick up 
                                                                      piece 
          by piece)
 
 now, she—
 “i wonder if The Whippoorwill closed down?”
 
 (it did)
 
 as we look at ourselves, posing,
 on a battered piano bobbing extemporaneously 
                                                                             )in a corner

One thought on “Last Call at the Whippoorwill”

  1. You take us there…
    “from his fingers outward to the rest of the band,

    the puppeteer’s gestures swathed in echoes”

    The perfect opener. It captures the eye and tantalizes
    the mind, as does the rest of the poem.

    Like

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