Charles Newman

this is all so fashionably noir:
hushed conversations
elongated pauses
between questions and answers
like silence makes it all the more meaningful
ugly evasions pile up like bad debt
except for those who read between the lines

dim light suits this place these people

and here we are [among them]
having a drink
looking like our very lives depend on being here

interesting [how we manage to blend in
and still not lose ourselves]

ruthless players
greedy con artists
soulless manikins
little-known bible thumpers and
two lost souls
sabotaged by dreams

elegance endures sweet mistress
manipulation prevails
kisses mean little in this place

everyone has their price here
nobody succumbs for nothing
seduction pays the rent

somehow we rise above it all
dodging the bullets
sidestepping the innuendo
escaping the emptiness
graceful as astaire
tapping his way to ginger’s heart
like that’s all there is to it

still -
others play this scene better

still -
everyone knows we don’t belong here
[too many nervous ticks
too many casual glances]

like you I hide in shadows
replacing my face with masks

like you I say little
evasion proving the best defense
silence my weapon of choice

still -
everytime I
look your way
you are looking mine

like the light spinning over the dancers
in slowly collapsing circles
you define me once always