Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tight Black Pants by Chris Hivner


Da da da da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da da da.
The guitarist picked out the tune
on thin, tenuous strings.
“Oh, how mercy stings,”
he sang
as smooth as experienced hands
playing a dumbek drum.
“You fed me with lies,”
he sang forcefully.

The waitress sidled by
and I stared
at the roundness of her ass

in the tight black pants.
She was too young
for me to ask out
but what of reverie?
Were my dreams regulated? Could
she feel my imagined hands
on her curves?

“Too many lights on different nights,”
the singer groaned
as I flirted with the waitress
I could never have.
I ordered another drink
that I didn’t want,
convincing myself
of my charm
when she offered a smile.
Da da da da da da da da da da
Da da da da da da da da da da
the guitar mocked me.

Her breasts brushed against me
when she sat the glass
on the table
and I would swear
she whispered into my ear
but all I could hear was
“Oh, how mercy stings.”

The bearded singer
took a break.
He walked past my table
giving me an exuberant
thumbs up
as if I were his number one fan
but all I could see were
rubescent lips whispering
to every man in the club.

We screwed
until exhaustion took me.
The waitress
I could never have
smoked half a pack of cigarettes
while watching
a Charlie Chan movie

with the sound off.
I ordered a drink
and laughed nervously
while the singer
sat outside my bedroom door
picking out a tune
on brand new
cat-gut strings.


Chris Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania while his mind wanders through parallel dimensions. He has recently had poems published in Underground Voices, The Cynic Online Magazine and Halfway down the stairs. He has a chapbook of poems "Edged in Blue," published by Foothills Publishing and a collection of short horror stories, "The Spaces Between Your Screams" published by eTreasures Publishing.

Photo by Adam Lawrence.
Street art by Nope.

"Every Place is a House" comes from Chicago-based Map & Atlases debut album Perch Patchwork which was released last year through Barsuk Records.

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