Aubade on Royal Street

“Lady Francis, there’s just not enough kindness
in this world.”
     Dexter Gordon

What night’s left, locks down hard. You’ve got to
love this slow blue hour, mon beb, this mood cuts
light, cuts straight across the Lady’s ache with no
sun’s weight to stick it home, deep, and twist it off.

You blow the notes too raw, work each riff
against the next, until it flows like blood
inside the moon, that smooth, and torques
the reed tighter, for kindness’ sake, for mercy
as it fails, again, and sweetly

burns stone back to holy elements, burns an echo
in the charged air over Back-a-Town. And the parkways turn like orchids, big-eyed, sloppy with dew, toward
the sky, all swollen, wired for a last taste,

or the risk of a kiss. But each note spends its edge. The air gets still again. The hot seed settles, and dries. As Lady tunes a cigarette and opens her sad wound to dawn, so-so sha, catch the Lady on your lips.
Lift her tongue beyond this ache that lingers

in your own throats. How the ache burns, how it echoes in your own breath. How your own ache and its echo

burns the Lady into light, that simple, and her night-
time life-time “lays to jest” the damage of each day.

© 2017, John Sullivan


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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