The Bar Maid

Her legs wisp down like gun smoke, ashy gray in the lowlight.  She reaches up in a sort of salutation, a tray of pints resting on her flat palm. She spins around and overhead, as if doing a stadium wave, until reaching a rowdy table of suit coats with an amber pitcher. Her profile is a silver crescent framed in long shadows and her movements guide the ebb and flow of the bar. When her rounds are over, she stands slightly slumped, head hanging heavy and chin against her apron. She has been held by the mean, sobbed on by the suicidal, caressed by the ballistic. She’s been led by small of her back into smoky corners and used in dark alleyways. She’s learned to hide in the nightlife, her head cocked and tongue ready to burst fire at the slightest touch. All she knows is this strange dance of the bar, her bare legs struggling to hold firm against rock bottom.

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