Inspired by a Tumblr post I now can’t find… if you recognise the story, please contact me!
There’s something about scarlet cushions and 1940s jazz,
Dark bars and tiny crystal goblets filled with cloying golden wine
And a promise of desire that draws me in every time.
In every war, there’s one — a place where the desolate gather,
Greys and browns shattered with a slash of red lipstick,
That quickened pulse that comes from the camaraderie
Of the unknown tomorrow and the too-close call.
Wit and wine and wickedness — the parry of purpose
And the succor of close quarters, body heat and laughter.
It’s a rush: sex, death, righteousness, denial;
That cresting wave of potential tomorrows
Staved off by another round, another wager,
A forbidden kiss. I drink it all in, the coded glances,
The surreptitious hands on knees, the whispered strategies,
The promised rendezvous, the love letters and photographs
carried in pockets and slipped into books to be found
Decades later by unsuspecting grandchildren
Who never knew grandpa cradled a memory
of a raven-haired man with a trickster smile,
Whose touch burned like paper and melted like wax,
Whose name whispered in the dawn was like wanting
And whose eyes were quicksilver and hope.