she sauntered into the room
i say saunter
unsure of the meaning
but knowing deep down
she encompassed it
with every inch of her being
she smiled at me
a cold
almost lifeless
lifting of her cheeks
never quite reaching
her disinterested stare
or disturbing her
wintry beauty
as she sat
two stools down
from my desperate perch
at the edge of
another bad episode
she ordered a vodka tonic
two wedges of lime
and pulled out a pack
of cigarettes and a
bright silver lighter
which she flicked
and only made sparks
before turning to me
one eyebrow raised
to which i smiled
and shrugged
she kept looking over
her vodka tonic
the faded green of the limes
and the lipstick stain
in bright red on
the tall slender glass
and i waited for her to
say whatever it was
lurking behind her
pearly white half grin
while i had no need
to break the silence

we sat quietly
the sulpher flare from
the matches and
the blue gray clouds
she would breathe out
the only exchange
as i sipped my whiskey
and she watched catlike
ready to pounce
a growing pile of butts
in the ashtray and
limes on the bar

“you gonna buy me a drink?”
she asked me
her cheeks were flushed
and there was a wobble
as she turned toward me

“you’ve got one”
i replied
as the bartender poured
amber over ice
the crackle and clink
melodic in the heavy
silence of anticipation

“you gonna take me home?”
she asked
taken aback by her own
abrupt boldness

“why? don’t you have one of your own?”

“mine is lonely”
she said dramatically
with a sigh

“they all are”
i sipped the drink
smiled contentedly
at the bartender
and nodded towards
the lady
“vodka tonic, please. two limes”

she brightened up
and clapped happily
before scooting
to the stool next to me
extended her hand
and the diamond glittered
like a mirrored ball
as the neon beer signs
pulsed in refraction
“a pleasure”

i shook it
nodding at the ring
“seems you have someone to keep your home less lonely”

she laughed
held the ring up
and the spectacle was amazing
“a memento from lucky”

i frowned
“memento implies he was anything but”

she didn’t look at me
just watched the glimmer
a sad look falling
across her flushed face
“turned out to be one of them ironic nicknames”

i didn’t have
a clever retort lined up
so i sipped my drink
and let the ice cubes
play their song
as she lit another smoke
and watched me from
the streaked mirror
behind the bar

“could be you’re the lucky one”
she said softly
her voice sending chills
along the back of my neck

“no one has ever confused me of being lucky”

“fortunes have a way of changing”

“and you’re my rabbit’s foot?”
i asked
raising an eyebrow

“i could be”
she smiled at me
nearly as dazzling
as her ring
“let me freshen up and we can test the theory”

as she sauntered
still the best description
for that sensual gait
around the corner
i dropped fifty on the bar
grabbed my jacket
and smiled up
at the confused bartender
“lucky seems to have dodged a bullet. and little miss fortune isn’t aiming at me next”
then i left
the cool night air
the fire in my belly
and the feeling
i was lucky enough
to have escaped alive


3 thoughts on “saunter

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