Masquerade

The evening sun sank red with rage
And languor lay upon my lap,
And darkness swallowed yellow haze,
Then tautened nerves the day had frayed.

The city serfs were set to snap
And swilled warm beer and sucked the air,
In undershirts or summer trap–
The tedium of dripping tap.

The street lamps twinkled blue and bare
Like beads of sweat upon the night,
And frenzied moths danced in their glare;
The painted lady flaunts her ware.

They sweltered in the August blight
And watched the street with desparate eyes
That echoed thoughts of prey in plight:
The clocks on wrists were wound drum tight.

Nights’ shadows serve what days’ despise
And change the fauna of the street,
And lend to all a dark disguise;
A distant lonely siren cries.

While twilight soothes the hot concrete
Parched lips are licked in prayer for rain,
And angry tires on pavement screech.
A thousand hearts then skip a beat.

She rises with her id restrained,
Then slowly dons the evenings’ face.
A painted smile conceals the pain,
The instincts stir inside her brain.

She turns and gowns with feline grace,
Then clouds the air with thick perfume.
And cloaks herself with webs of lace,
Then vanishes without a trace.

He stands and walks across the room.
Tall, naked, lean and tanned nut brown.
A single lamp fends off the gloom.
The silent shadows lurk and loom.

He bends and pulls his trousers on,
Admired by the full length mirror.
Taut, tapered, tight from toe to crown.
Anticipating pulses bound.

The waiting street twines joy with fear
And promises of ecstacy.
While flashing neons taunt and jeer
And lend the night garish veneer.

She stalks along a seedy strip
And stops to pull a stocking up.
A grinding motion to her hip;
The furtive glance and bitten lip.

She halts her course with pause abrupt,
Then swings the door and steps inside.
Accustomed to the light enough
She moves across the smoke filled pub.

He tenses now his quarry spied;
With fingers tight around his glass.
Then through the crowd with ease he glides
Conspicuously by her side.

Her senses tingle as they pass
And catch an inkling of design.
The shadows hide what eyes confess,
Anticipating sweet duress.

Accosted with a simple line
She turns about with feigned surprise.
An offer then to share white wine;
Unspoken promise more sublime.

Escorted to a table thus
They sit and trade false pleasantry.
Engender superficial trust;
Concealing their unbridled lust.

Nights’ fauna sense the dawn’s delay
And mix their madness with delight.
The darkened street oft blends to grey
The silent stalker and its prey.

They rise and leave into the night;
Arm and arm linked each to each…
Stark street lamps burning blue and bright,
The bitten moon a ghostly white.

Swallowed by the shadowed street
While tension mounts the eastern sky,
The aging boardwalk soon deletes
The memory of their passing feet.

The dawning finds the street awry,
Obscenely gestured and arrayed.
While twilight fingers probe and pry,
The darkest shadows fade and die.

The sunlight thunders through the shades
And beats on minds and reddened eyes;
Unmasks the nights shameless charades,
Of timeless endless masquerades.

© Loubert S Suddaby. All Rights Reserved.

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