faces of the night
Laila has lived,
She has knelt like the monk and opened her heart to God.
She has been the laborer and the lost child.
She has been the servant and the served.
She has been blessed and she has been saved.
She looks into the heart of everyone.
Now, she holds an absent hand in her mind.
Now, she watches, the woman by the riverbank.
It rolls past.
Eternal stranger, she is granted freedom
to observe the faces of the night.
She gazes longingly into the sparkling eye of humanity.
A boisterous stranger whoops and pounds a pint.
A muscular, polished boy in tight yacht shorts zips a fancy satchel.
A curvy blonde in a strapless maxi shouts,
HE HAS A HUGE. HEAD!
Her bun wiggles, and her earrings shimmy.
Packaged nicely, like an orchid in a ribbon,
Laila now weeps on tuscan leather couches at the drag club.
Neon light washes over her,
and a Celtic beat rollicks
through the raw brick and musty wood-clad interior.
Empty, her heart caves in on itself,
and, achieving new depths of sadness, collapses again.
Thus alleviated from the burdens of feeling,
she ignores the blackhole as one may gloss over,
among the infinite multiplicity of stars,
a single absentee.
She is delicate and wild,
and she shirks at the slightest touch.
These blunt hands would crush her,
as a careless child,
trying to apprehend a butterfly,
destroys its wings.
Thus alleviated from the burdens of self-pity,
she reawakens to a club unchanged.
Pop music, relegated by her consciousness to the status of vapid sonic haze,
reattains its clarity and resolution to become profound:
don’t let go / feel the music in you…
Her appetite for the quirk and character of life,
for the vivacity and ultrasaturated spectrum of humanity thus satiated,
she exits as quietly as she came in,
to be equally refreshed by the consonance and clarity of the deep blue air
as she was by the dissonance and clatter inside.