Tears dry on their own
Under a beehive, her small body was
a reed, a hazy vessel for her voice. Her
kohl cat flicks underlined a desire for
friction, a pen’s furious scrawl. She was
smoky, seductive allure in a jazz club;
on a large stage she tottered, shivered, self-
loathed; writing from heartbreak is harder if
an audience adores you. The probing strobe
of fame demanded she wrapped her heart
in black velvet lyrics to deflect from
the track-marks, the alcohol, the perfume
of cigarettes that suppressed appetite.
Hers was a lone love for a dying night
that would not face the morning’s heavy light.