Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Bars

Go see what other poets contributed to the Totally Optional Prompt: Laundry. As for me, I didn't write anything about laundry and am sharing something completely different.

The Bars

We went to the bars.
We went to the bars, but not to drink.

We went out of our way to get to the bars,
squeezing too many into a car, or hopping from bus to train to bus.
We paid the cover charge or the membership fee,
and squeezed into the dark, loud, crowded spaces.

The bars smelled like beer and clove cigarettes and patchouli.
They were always too warm, even if you found
a winter breeze from a side door, propped open a little.
There were too many bodies there, moving bodies.

We went to the bars to dance.
We went to the bars to dance with each other,
without men to hit on us.
Some woman was always trying to impress the DJs,
with a song request calculated to prove
superior knowledge of the latest releases, or
a dance move practiced to look casual-but-sexy.

We held hands at the bar,
in the open. And we danced.
We danced close to one another.
Our bodies moved in rhythm to the music and each other.
Our hands and hips talked even when it was too noisy for conversation.

We went to the bars to play pool.
There was more space to breathe by the pool tables
but you had to pay attention and move out of the way
as the players tried to out-butch each other
in their efforts to impress someone special.

We could sometimes nab a just-vacated seat near the windows,
out of the way and cozy, a good place to sit close, lean in close;
a good place to kiss and be kissed.

We went to the bars to hear live music.
We listened to singers on the tiny first-floor stage:
a woman playing an acoustic guitar with heart-on-her-sleeve political lyrics;
two women with love songs about women;
or a baby-dyke with a rock edge.
We crowded at the tiny tables and watched,
some drooling at the guitars, more at the singers.

We stood in line at the bars to get in.
We stood in line at the bars to order drinks.
We stood in line at the bars to go to pee,
a long line on the basement stairs to rooms
marked "Women" and "Men,"
not caring which was which because we used them both,
as if we owned the place.

We went to the bars because that's where the women were.
Women like us.


Stan Ski said...

Warm beer and a dart board suits me...oh, and a short walk home...

Linda Jacobs said...

This is so refreshing! One of my best friends is a lesbian and I'm going to send her the link to this poem.

The use of repetition works really well here!

Chelle said...

I like this, it brings back lots of memories.

Reread the 3rd stanza from the bottom - I think a typo lurks within.

Tumblewords: said...

Well written!

sister AE said...

Hi, Stan!

Thanks, Linda.

Hi, sweetie. Typo is now fixed, thanks. Glad you like it.

Hello, Sue. Thank you.

ghost said...

I really enjoyed your writing.
This reminded me of when I was a little girl~ the cirus would come to town for about 3 days,visual
delight and cotton spun candy.
I always wanted to be the lion tamer.

sister AE said...

Thanks, ghost.