Saturday, 17 March 2018


A Few Hours

by Mara Buck

                               
Buy me shrimp
on a clear day when
I can see the blue of
the ocean replicated in
the clean white plate
the waiter brings
as he stumbles to our table.
And let there be wine.
Oh, not an obnoxious
cork-sniffing vintage, only
something soft and cool
that soothingly sits politely
within its twinkling glass.
Please have a simple
violinist silhouetted against
that sea, playing, a bit
of bright Vivaldi.
All these things,
will you do for me?

Let me sit pertly in
a darkened, classy club—maybe
the Carlyle, maybe the Vanguard—
listening to sophisticated stylings
with those who drink too much,
neither to forget nor to remember,
but only because it is there.
My little black dress will
be sexy, yet not tart,
and I will indulge in Campari
while someone else pays the bill.
I will be witty. I will be gay.
I will sparkle.

I yearn to be with people who are glib.
I crave cleverness.
Give me a quip, a pun—
quick-witted banter.
Show me the mettle of your
gray matter.
Surround me with a neverending
round of crystal martinis
of the mind.

Loosen my tongue with champagne.
Bathe me in kindly
diamond-reflected winks.
Keep the music smoky to match
the innuendo of the other little black dresses
who circle me with embracing cattiness.

Oh, take me back to that place
where all is parties or nothing at all.
Let me glitter, let me astonish, let me flirt,
until the time comes when I must
go home alone, for tomorrow
I must be whatever passes for me.


* * * * *


"A Few Hours" was the first place winner of the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Poetry Prize, 2016. Author holds all rights.