Tin Ear

Bee-Dee, Boo-Bop De-Beep
the jazz music plays – if I had a quarter
for every time I felt sorry for myself and
forgot about it when I heard the trumpet you’d never
see me again.

I’d have a score of weak women with strong eyes,
taunting my manhood with easy lays and cigarette smoke
daiquiris and fox-trots. Saddle shoes make an awkward sound on a plaster floor.

By midnight those saxophonists, tired of competing
decide they both win and clink glasses
I think I’m cool as they are and I hip leap to the right
They gulp down their drinks and lay into me with
disdain; I ain’t one of them
because I can’t hear the music, only the way it should sound.
The woman caresses my shoulder and I know she wants money
Dee-Bop, Bow-Bam – all I’ve got is the on-rhythm tap of my saddle shoe on the floor. A wry smile she says back and I fade away on into the shadow, by the bar.

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