It is a crowded room
or a quiet one
always dimly lit
and preoccupied in its demeanor
and the clientele arrived in a symphony of gestures
precise, practiced and postured
a language we all understand….
Are you Curious?
About the man sitting at the bar? When you walked into the room
you both glanced up in the same moment
gazes met
you lowered your glance, so as not to be crass
he diverted his, letting the flicker and the liquor
play on the dark intent of his features
so you might read and transcribe the deft economy of desire
we have all seen this before
and even participated in the loosely defined ritual
there was that feeling of prefabricated destiny
such intensity triggered that surely, now, you needed a drink

What is it that attracts one mode of being to another?
What in the subtle indications, invisible posturing
causes the seamless meld of barcodes grafting, one over the other
static hiss, surface gliding—
end product unknown
yet derived from the same and endless repetition
of a narrative
which by now we should find dull
facetious and exposed
yet we concede…
even though the gesture is dishonest in its motivation
as with anything seeking to invest itself with meaning
What and why magnetizes me and you
is the unknown quantity
my destination though prefigured
is always unfathomed…

Are you Curious?
The man sitting at the bar is sitting next to you
Your glances merge and overlap once more
at ease with the molecular friction
he absorbs the gesture with recognition
his smile, (or is that a smirk?)
smudged with the affect of knowing,
nonetheless seductive
for here and now you exist
for the here and now of intent upon your bodily presence

Curiously you understand his past
His mother was very beautiful and near insane
His father departed
from the picture very early
He was called upon to perform more than the duties of a son
a certain demand, we shall say, was extracted
such that beneath its weight he began to crumble, softly
unnoticed, until one day he came home
she sat on the yellow couch sipping coffee
she poured him some
in her sexy precise way
she lifted the demi-tasse
to her lips
it was then he noticed her teeth and lips were stained
not just with coffee
or nicotine
but perhaps, he realized for the first time
with the blood of his father
He had always wondered where the father had disappeared to
and now—

She intercepted his thoughts quite quickly, even before he was able to accomplish them,
but he was swifter in his actions
he immediately fled the apartment and never saw her again

From then on he wandered from city to city to escape her,
even though she was dead and far, far away she seemed to rise up and haunt him wherever he was
women in cafes, lips, teeth stained
not just with nicotine and coffee, but
a certain luxury of guilt that women seem to bask in,
would rise up to accost—
marking his fear with the irony of a situation he could never quite justify

He is a tortured soul
He takes out a cigarette, if you act within seconds, you will offer him a light
a minor concession, decidedly seductive and
unexplainable and ironic
Words will be few, gestures abound
It is rainy, you will share a cab
He asks if he can come up for a nightcap
(even though he has consumed far beyond legal limits)

You kiss
swift, deft lingering
Are you Curious
You ask, To know what it is I desire?
It is at this point he realizes that you too have teeth and lips stained with oh so many things, he seeks
to flee you
And why should you let him?
you have waited for him for
oh, so long…


© 1996, 2013 onome ekeh