Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I Invite Death to dinner


    “Hey Lucky,” someone shouted
    And shouted again.  I looked down
    From my third story perch.  “Who
    Do you want?”  “Are you Lucky”?
    A gaunt man with a long beard
    Looked up.  “Not to my knowledge,”
    I replied.  “Good looking lady like

    This, anybody’d be lucky to have
    Her come to town.  Better come
    On down.”  “Is she a tall woman with
    Jet black hair, black eyes and purple
    Nails?”  “Yeah,” the gaunt man said
    With a wink.  “I’ll be right down.”  He 
    Smirked and said, “I thought you might.

    “She’ll be waiting, I suspect.”  And
    Indeed she was, rolling her window
    Down in the back, “Get in” she said.
    “Now why would I do that”?  I held
    Back, standing stock still.   “This next
    One is on me and in the cosmic
    Nature of things, the next comes now.”

    “And that means I owe you dinner,”
    I scoffed and peered in through her
    Window for a closer look?  “Are you
    Still a woman?”  “Well you can see
    I am.  I’m here for you as you can
    See.  Are you ready for me?”  “I don’t
    Think so,” I sighed, “but I could eat

    And while I don’t remember it quite
    The way you say, “I’ll buy you dinner if
    We take your car.”  “My limousine, you
    mean?  Please show it respect,” she
    Smiled.  I got inside, sitting opposite.
    “What are you drinking,” she asked,
    Pointing at the onboard bar?  “Rum and

    And coke I guess, being a Marine.  It
    Might be nice on such a day as this.”  “Now
    Why is that,” she asked, cracking the can,
    Pouring the glass half full then filling the
    Rest with Ron Rico rum?  “My wife died
    Two years ago.  I never drank while she
    Was alive.  Never looked at another woman

    ‘Till now – if that’s what you are.”  Two years
    Is a long time,” she said, “if those forty years
    With her were incomplete.”  “I see,” I said, not
    Seeing.  She said “How would I know you haven’t
    Been drinking, and haven’t been looking,
    Seeing as you’re here now with me, a nice
    Cool drink just recently poured”?  “I don’t

    Think you count,” I said, and I’m only here
    For the conversation.”  “That’s what they all
    Say, Sugar, and the booze?”  “If you hand
    Me that glass, I’ll let you know.”  She set it
    In the cup holder near my hand.  “Whenever
    You’re ready,” she said, and looked at me
    Through the smoke from her cigarillo.  More

    Beautiful than she’d been at lunch, but I
    Searched inside and found no hunger, no
    Desire.  She knew it too – told the driver to
    Pull to the side of the road.  “You won’t
    Drink that, I know,” she gestured toward
    my drink.  “You could go to war with it
    Or meet me in my room.”  “If you were
    Real I might.  We’ll never know.”   I
    Mumbled in confusion, “but not now,
    Not you. Surely you have something better
    To do than pester me.”  She seemed
    Amused.  “I can never tell about you.
    You spend a lot of your time with the
    Dead, but now you say you have no

    Claim on death – won’t even drink to
    Her good health.”  I shook my head,
    Wondering at the metaphor and the
    Look she was giving me, mild it seemed
    And sad.  “I’ll just walk home from here if
    That’s okay,” I said.  “You bet, Sugar, she
    Smiled once more.  “The next one’s mine.”

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