She glowed in the sticky street,
cigarette hanging from ruby-red lips.
I wandered among musicians, drunks,
strip clubs and bachelorettes in sparkled masks.
She asked for my hands;
I can’t recall what she said in her scarred voice,
but I remember the way the square smelled
like liquor and cheap perfume,
and the warmth of her fingers;
then a jolt like an electric chair.
I thought myself a troubadour,
sober and sad in shadow-dark streets.
But I was a school boy, looking for
glimmers of light in a dark room.