she appears at the edge of the wharf 2-3 nights a week// as if she's surveying the vastness of nothing// it's around the time you're learning how to play the harmonium// something pulls you like the moon// you want to own it & put it in your pocket// one night your butterflies get risky// you clear your throat & she turns// surprised by your cliche your mod look & cuban heels// in a chiffron baby doll dress with spaghetti straps/ she could pass for a darker shade of jean shrimpton// she talks of many things// murder on the docks the effect of the sun the overuse of echo in psychedelic how her father never recovered from his wounds from Franco's men circa 1937 // how london is a city of zombies // light & dark play musical chimes across her face // she says she is "fallen angel" [angel caido] the name of her all girl band// she says she can't score a contract// it's a boy’s world she says// a sneer// then says she knows your face// but can't recall the name //how can that be? you wonder// is she playing you?// you tell her you too are in a band // working on the purest album of a career // a "white" album// you visit her working the crowds in underground clubs // she plays guitar with finger pads still too soft// they drop off or form blisters// she sings like a beautiful manic-depressive // a comet falling & reversing //complains that she feels empty & emptier until she will be nothing// she offers to sleep with you if you can get her a contract// you say will try but no promises // one night in her room overlooking the docks & the impression of white birds the reflection of elongated lights// your hands your thrusts almost go through her// until you can only feel yourself //she's gotten too thin you think// it's the last time you ever see her //winter arrives//white birds hide under their impressions// you give up playing the sitar
ringo meets a girl-silhouette in a short black dress her legs are long, as alluring as throwing oneself into the thames to get over a bad life maybe the dress is what erases her having been called "tone-deaf" by george or web-handed by the south 5's drummer he suspects everything is distorted he follows her down carnaby street he buys her a drink at an east side pub she has large dark eyes & small mouth painted pale she takes him in he's reminded of the softness the tragedy of asia women with napalm smiles faraway curves he knows nothing is cheap at her place she tells him "i always die after sex" they make love on a rickety mattress witnessed by windows w/ fine cracks inside her he feels he's become an ecstatic void a swirl afterwards, what will he mean? after three nights of practically shelving her the memory of her soft dolly-girl legs his sinking he becomes obsessed he can't concentrate on drums & loops they meet accidentally in the rain she tells him that she never got over being jilted by a lingering shadow what's that supposed to mean he says straining his voice through the mist she turns & runs a week later he finds a piece of black batik fabric floating on the thames he wants to swim but can only belly-flop he panics & calls her in a phone booth that doesn't close all the way on the other end her shadow listens
Kyle Hemmings is a retired health care worker. He has been published in Is/Let, Matchbook, Otata, Sonic Boom, and elsewhere. He loves street art, French Impressionism, Kate Winslet, and 60s garage bands that never charted.