‘Black as the night’

Black as the night

Once we were sweet and beautiful. We feared nothing and we loved the song and the dance. You and I drank the Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey straight nightly and sucked life dried. Leaving only dry-up bone and rough-up skin and body.

You were a Texas beauty who loved the Austin city nights and free-falling into places forgotten when the morning lights appeared. You told me in the bliss of kiss and the long ride. I love what you do to me Johnnie. You and I never spoke of love and we didn’t know regret. You whispered to me often in the midnight hour. Time for war, time for love and time for us to accept who we are.

I called you my black hearten beauty, who loved the hard whiskey and the men who left before the sunrise. I knew how you had fallen. Once sweet and gentle. Life had stole away all your kindness and left you for dead. I remember you found me drinking the long Island ice teas at the Jazz club in Austin. I was alone and I wasn’t seeking anyone or anything. You asked me. What do you want soldier? Love or just enough?

I wrote on a napkin.

I was born alone and I was born sick.
Mama left me and I lived in the foster homes.
Life made me know.
You are born alone and you will die alone.
Expect little and you will know little disappointment.
I’m black as the night and better to drink the whiskey.
Dance to the deadly songs of accepting enough and
keep the old heart in the deep freeze.
Know no love, know no sadness.

I gave her the poem and she read my words. She was wearing a short black dress and tank-top showing gentle shoulders. The hot Summer Austin, Texas days make the sirens come out and play. Her dark brown eyes rose from the poem and she asked. Are you a pretender. Will you whisper you need and love me when the dawn showed-up? I smiled at her and I told her.

I have known love. I have known hate and I have danced with the devil often. War didn’t kill me and love almost did. You are safe with me my Texas beauty. I don’t bleed no-more and I liked your dangerous smile and long legs.

She took my Long Island ice tea and she drank her down and she asked. I drink Johnny Walker whiskey and I like to dance to Willie and Hank. If you feel safe with me. Let’s find the dance-hall and drink some whiskey. I don’t want love or kindness. I just want to be held and not be alone tonight.

I ordered two doubles of the Johnny Walker whiskey and I gave my best Michigan smile. I told her. Would be my honor to drink and dance with you tonight. I love Willie and Hank too. We need the drinking song to make us move with the music and the whiskey to forget what we left behind.

We drank the whiskey and two people found the dance-hall and just enough.

John Castellenas/Coyote