I rimmed my eyes in black and wore plastic
and metal around my neck. Sheri-D piled
her hair on top of her head and danced
in pointed black boots. Ali’s black dress lingered
against her skin like kisses and a fist-sized poppy
bloomed in her black hair. When the three of us stood
beside each other in front of the bar the only other
colour was my pink shirt, bright as candy. The band
played “Under the Boardwalk” and “Mustang Sally”
while aging poets danced around us, blue jeans and red
velvet and something approaching abandon. We sat
at the back of the room. Ali spilled a pint and it spread
like a rumour across the white tablecloth. Sheri-D whispered
that the three of us were really in a Tarantino movie and that I
should drive the getaway car even though I can’t drive. We
decided there must be a heavy black gun duct-taped inside
the toilet tank in the washroom we shared with the family reunion
in the banquet room down the orange hallway. The band broke
into “Runaway” and Ali began to freak out. I gave her Ativan
from the little brown bottle in my purse and reminded
her that sometimes a bar band play list is just that. Sometimes
there’s no such thing as confluence and sometimes there is and
sometimes you can’t tell until years later and even then you wonder
if it’s just a story you tell yourself to make it all mean something.
The bare facts of a poem: Red lipstick. Red flower. Black dress. Pink pearls.
Three throats opened in laughter at the exact same moment.
An approximation of music. Dark room. Bodies.
No duplication. No repetition.