A Face in the Crowd

You,

With your red shirt and blonde hair

Desperate to scrape your way out

As I slipped myself in,

You,

With your tired eyes and fading blond hair-

Slouching towards the end of another day

While sensing the closing was near.

 

You,

With that smile not nearly as bright as the rest

Who basked in their own glittering reflections

As the mirror ball turned like a voyeuristic eye,

You,

With your eyes dimmed and dazed

From too many dreams dreamt and spent

In the arms of lovers that proved losers

And touches that never turned out

As promising as the dream suggested

In those early days when you’re supple skin

And boyish frame

Had been seduced by the warm mouths of men

Before you betrayed yourself

With your own naivety

And unstoppable self-belief.

 

They say,

After a time,

Money changed hands

Amid various embraces-

Did it change you amid the exchanges?

 

You,

With your red shirt and blonde hair

Spiraling southwards and sinking into shadows

While sobbing silently into shaking hands,

You,

Sniffing up lines in toilet stalls

To rise above and turn your tricks-

Just barely paying for one with the other.

 

You,

Who I passed on the stairs of that club

On that rather bland night,

Followed by a rather bland introduction,

You,

Who ran your hand along the velvet of my red jacket

Though I cannot recall the details of your face

Or the shade of your voice and yet, I can recall

All that those colorless eyes had unburdened onto

Me, coming in from the outside, new to it all-

The scene,

The crowd,

The needs,

The sometimes selfish wants of men

And all that lay hidden behind those empty caresses-

All that you once succumbed to

And then grew so quickly to hate.

 

You,

With your tired eyes and blonde hair

Off to a new world to conquer

Or just another world to sleep with,

You,

Off to repeat another round of the tireless tedium-

Comforting addictions we become used to

And a ruthless routine we become a part of.

 

You,

With your red shirt and blonde hair,

It had been a long day

But in that moment,

Amid that crowd

And behind those eyes,

The closing for you

Appeared

So terminally near.

 

You were to me but

A face in the crowd

As the rain poured down

Over a random night,

Nothing unusual,

Nothing specific,

Nothing different,

And yet I’ve noticed

Your absence

Ever since.

photo-49

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