Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wintertime and Barroom Affairs

by Michael Lee Johnson

I head South side to the bar
115 Bourbon Street
to think the gospel
and find the Lord-
I had some time on my hands
and an affair to find.

Broken in my sentence structure
and simple minded with my words
I need help to find the men’s bathroom.

Back to the neon lights, streamers, to the
dance floor I found dark places with humming

Women of all colors, shapes, designs and dresses
were giving it away, names, addresses, bra sizes.

This night was crawling with flesh-
flesh escaping, vaporizing into the willing arms
of meat grinders and street strangers:
candles wicking of many sizes,
many colors, dripping down like desert.

I’m the prophet of sinner street,
spending nickels and dimes, tossing
the occasional dollar to someone somewhere.

Dancers of the midnight mirror floor swinging lights.

My thump, rhythm, is off, my shoes under a stray table

Tireless dancers so tired.

At home my wife weeps willow tree tear,
she sleeps short of breath, facing revival,
finishing off a fantasy dream climax oriented
with a total stranger or was it the lead singer
of the Buckingham’s?

It’s a Chicago night you know,
chill and wind tossed around on
Michigan Avenue shoulders.

I’m ending this poem in reality now,
and elsewhere heaven and hell descends-
I’m shut out of a box of love and a dozen roses
clipped like a flowers eye when the touch
of first snow falls.

Winter of love, walls of clear cold.

I head home from
South side 115 Bourbon Street
to think the gospel ,
to wonder about Luke.

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