Friday, April 18, 2014


was half Cuban
and half African,
but all woman;
she was also
on the skids.
I'd see her
from time to time
when I came out
of my captivity
to have a smoke.
At first,
she came to me
& demanded one
then modified
her approach,
and I'd give her one
and, always the gentleman,
light it as well.
She always looked better
from a distance; a little long
in the tooth up close
and a little beaten-up
around the edges.
I found out she lived
in a city shelter
around the corner
and sometimes
performed acts of charity
with men
inside the subway entrance
on the corner.
She was smart
in the ways
that most women are:
she could size-up
a man
in seconds,
but instead
of thinking
in years
she measured
only minutes.

After a time,
we got friendly
enough, so that
a real coffee
& a danish
went with the cigarette,
but the other day
she had the sadsads.
I didn't have to ask.
"It's my fucking birthday,
she said,
not one fucking person
gives a shit if I'm alive
or dead...and I don't give a shit either."
I felt like that
once or twice myself.

"How old ya gonna be?"
"I'm twenty years your senior."
"You don't look that, daddy?"
"Neurotics don't got a dress?"
"I got a dress."
"You like Italian?"
"Yeah, I like Italian."
"You wanna eat Italian tonight?"
"You takin me out?"
"Why not? Everybody should have a birthday."
"An old Italian joint near my pad. Been there
for a hundred years; older sophisticated crowd--
we'll fit right in. How's eight?"
I scribbled down the address for her
and met her out front.
She cleaned herself up and looked good.
Real good.
She knew how to order, knew what she wanted,
knew how to sip wine and knew how to eat.
We were finishing up
with espresso
when she leaned in close
and said,
"I got something I need to tell you."
"Yeah, what's that?"
"My real name. It's..."

I thought that
was a start.

Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2014

1 comment:

  1. After doing some online research, I got my first e-cig kit at Vaporfi.