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Two Poems
by Paula Ray

Sax Named Pegasus

He had that not-interested-come-hither look
with a too-cool-to-smile upward nod,
shaggy beast with bad ass tattoos displayed
on his biceps, flexing as he stroked the cue.

She was the pocket watch, bend-over girl,
with a love-me-deadly-daddy-done-me-wrong-pout.
No teeth were flashing, but the fangs were visible.
The prowl was on and I was just sitting in the corner

Stirring my stories with a straw that sucked characters
out of bars. Needed something to soothe this burn
in my gut, watched the exit like a hungry badger
ready to bite at the fresh air if it slapped me in the face.

Don't like cigarettes, but the smoke swirled a mean
dream around scenes that came alive in a marijuana
dojo where karate matches looked rehearsed,
there were no bows at the beginning or the end
of kicks and board breaking chops.

I had a gig-bag hanging on the chairback, unzipped,
wide-mouthed staring at the too-drunk-to-fuck geezer
burping up acid from a liver gone sour-milk
and he had the guts to smile at me.

Handed him a roll-over-pass-out-tablet
with get-a-life-grampa eye-roll-politeness,
but he took it like a man and I gave him
half a smile for having stamina in this marathon.

Back to the game, my eyes caught pinky peacock prancing
swaying lick-me-now invitations Rockhead's direction and he
showed what he wanted from her with tongue rimming a slick
long necked bottle that went in a bit too far as he drank.

He chugged it all down and swallowed hard, turned his head
and said "ahh" with a raised get-the-idea-look, and she did.
Wasn't long before she was bottom-lip-biting-hair-flipping
toward him making sure her tits were jiggling on the down beat.

Nothing ever changed much except the posters on the wall. I checked
the set list on breaks, held the paper like a "do not disturb" sign.
Guys in the band went out panty-huffing Mary Jane in a old bread truck.
I was scribbling my escape counting call-me dollars from the tip jar.

Sometimes that jar seemed to be my bra, should have sewn
a little pocket to fit their cop-a-feel hands, but I didn't
want no look-up-your-skirt compliments. I wanted to shut
my eyes and grab my sax like he was Pegasus and fly away.

Break Me

Sometimes I wish someone would
slap these thoughts of him right out of my head.
I want them to hold me down, suck out my marrow,
leave me limp without a spine;
so when I bend over backwards
looking for yesterday like some contortionist
it won't hurt so damn much.

I want them to cover my eyes
with a thick black velvet cloth--
something soft against lashes
fighting to see ahead, but I don't want to see
anything coming. Give me no time to prepare
my escape. I have gotten so good at running,
they may need to bind my feet.

Sometimes I want to be smothered.
I want to feed my screams to someone else,
let them carry that ragged primal angst
in their lungs while I stop breathing
long enough to throw off this
constant rhythm that is beating
me to death from the inside out.

Right now, I just want to be pounded
and eroded like the sand beneath me
shifting day to day into new shapes.
I know I am soft like dunes, but I need someone
stronger than I am to force me
to change and move with the wind
that has swirled itself into a hurricane
between my ears. I need a cold front
to cool all this steam rising in me.

I need to be bulldozed so I can rebuild.
Just take a sledgehammer and do it.

About the author:
Paula Ray is a musician who has recently discovered she has an addiction to writing. Her poems and short stories may be found in publications such as:
All Things Girl, Mad Swirl, and Nerve House.

© 2013 Word Riot

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