listening to Billie Holiday

Leonard Durso

body and soul
that voice
brings back memories
of dark bars
Alvin swaying
John Woods’ eyes
closed to some thoughts
he could not escape
and Henry
and secrets
he cannot say
earlier we sat
with Julian pouring rye
into our steins
of draught beer
at the Blarney Stone
cornbeef and cabbage
upper west side
and that voice
haunting our dreams
where oh where
amid the ghosts
of days past
she is there
as night falls
and my glass
is filled
and refilled
death will come
to us all
but damn
her voice
keeps it at bay
and they can’t
take that
from me

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