A Brief Holiday
with the Jazz Heroine
Lady Day,
your arms are Harlem gutter paths
where living corpses
walk their dogs
and spill poison 
into your sewer drain,
delivering news of an early winter
to the wrinkled master
 
Your dizzy face spins
as needles lower
upon your black, record skin
 
Ella and the Count ride near
and the cold train travels
on thin rails,
hauling Chicago-bound box beds
soon to be occupied
by your cooling fans
 

copyright 1990, 2002, Frank Messina

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