On Drinking After Midnight

She listens to burned cds in her car
they sound like old records
Ella sings tales of her heart
voice crackling and sizzling
begging my soul to recall Audre’s days
of scratchy records and smooth
cigarette smoke curling into air
naked bodies dampened with
sweat and loving, splayed exhausted across thinly cushioned day-beds

Windows crack and a cloud of knowing
hovers around us
we welcome it into our lungs
with deep intakes of breath
tongues loosened with liquor
we talk of the ways we’ve
lived out our days
reflect on the many
roads our walks have taken

We are moving
fast and impassioned
fire in our hearts inflaming our path
cigarettes clutched between our fingers smoke trails behind us
we don’t know where we are heading
until we do, and we are sitting
on a bar stool

Her eyes wide, she explains
a piece of her soul
leaning into her tale, hands
become her dancers moving and
interpreting, punctuating her points

I get lost when I talk to her
access that place in my mind
reserved for meditating, paper and pen
I pluck out pieces of myself and
spill them at her feet

Knowing that although she may not
know their meaning
she understands the part of my
mind I am speaking from
sees the hard fought wars and
Honors them, welcomes them

Accepts them as my truth.

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