Lamplight pools on rain spattered pavements,
Holding back winter darkness
As candles burn low, the city’s eyes closing
With every sleeping couple.
Bathed in rippling waves of jazz
Flowing from basement bunkers
To pluck at the hearts of lonely lovers
Shoulders hunched against November’s icy voice,
Eyes turned down to the floor, face hidden
In a thick woollen scarf.
Breath spirals through fibres in a fine mist
Wandering in to the chill of the night.
He turns the corner,
Emerging from the black velvet of the shadows
To bathe in the lamp’s amber glow.
Tired eyes rise from the pavement,
Fixed on the approaching figure’s face
Bright with anticipation and desire
But disappointment turns them dim,
The light seeping into the chimes of midnight
Vying for supremacy with bursts of brass
Winding from the belly of the city.
He is not coming.
A sigh escapes soft lips,
In recognition of sadness, but not surprise.
Down dingy alleys she meanders
Drawn to the drums, lights, crescendos
Of the clubs, losing herself in blaring sound,
In booze, stale cigarettes and jazz.