Swamp City (a poem)

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 jungle juice 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.