Harry's Bar by Nonnie Augustine

The piano player's fingers played
songs that stole souls.
They came close-to cling
to the wool of his trousers, his worn
silk tie, his blue cotton shirt,
nestled in the creases lining
his slight smile and hung from
gliding forearms as they ranged
from left to right, low to high
with soft, strong, or scorching
force of touch.

Melisande resisted. She remained
intact, complete, unbent. Her spirit
had defences against bar room robbers.
Notes sailed past her ivory skin-
could not pierce pores and steal in
where they might captivate, seduce,
hold in thrall her tender core.
She sensed, dismayed, that as he
played his power as a puppeteer
increased with the arrival of each anima.
He would not have her. He would not.

Sipping gin, she glanced away from the safe, worn
mahogany where she'd fastened her gaze.
The patient mirror behind the bar
waited for her brown-black look.
The melody in his eyes, his blue-green eyes,
shot through glass to reach for her, gently.
Surrounded as he was by the haze,
she saw gracious invitation,
no threat of yet another humiliation.
Slipping from her stool, conceding once again,
Melisande went to him, body and soul.


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