Blues Blossoms at the Elephant Lounge

My backbone bounced
to the bass beat.
Breathless, every heart
in the tobacco-charred
liquor-soaked club
matches rhythms with the
a caustic cadence.
Bump bump.
The bass man’s calloused fingers
sculpt reverberating
while the nicotine fog
smoke tendrils
caress my cheeks
and fill my lungs
with second-hand sparks,
and cigarette ghost fingers
pick their way into
my brain
diffusing the
soft, strange lights of the stage
until all I see are
translucent specters
swaying to the pull of the bass man
whose fingers
slick with sweat
and rough from years of the
pluck slap strum
slide down the strings banded backs
until they scream.