January 2004 / Volume Five / Issue One
David Bates
the bathroom at the 5 O’Clock Lounge
doesn’t lock–
so I post myself as guard, w/beer in hand
so that CM can take a shit

this woman has been dancing alone all evening
playing sad slow songs on the juke
she’d mentioned (getting the kids to school in the morning)
                          to her friend as they arrived

                          but when her friend left / she stayed
& took up a dollar collection
from the remaining patrons
for more songs

I’d read in the newspaper this morning
that more and more older women
are dating younger men
and this woman has on heels
& a long black tight skirt
and a designer leather jacket

           she’s dancing around to
           the music louder to me now that I
           recognize the track and
           have nothing to do but stand there & wait

she’s doing this self-conscious drunk dance–

small steps limited by the cut of her skirt &
the fashionably narrow points of her heels–

her hands jammed into the pockets of her jacket–
keeping her arms close & elbows out so that she

            suddenly appears like a bird w/its
            wings fused to its sides as if emerging
            in moderate determination f/an oil slick
            or a strange birthing bat bug
            stumbling away f/the egg

           CURT COBAIN:
            rape me             rape me
            rape me             rape me

CM is finished and we
return to the bar for an
other round

the next song on the jukebox is
one neither of us will ever recognize

& when the woman sits beside us
we look at her for a moment
as if we’ve never seen her before
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