Black Magic Woman

There I was
Drinking on the bench
Minding my own
When this black woman
Rather young if not pretty
Comes and talks to me.
Her hands are
Tattooed all over
Up to the wrists,
Not her face
Body I don’t know
Just the hands
Tattooed like a beautiful
Work of art.
“Why just the hands,” I ask.
“I was at a wedding,” she says
As if that would explain everything,
“But it ain’t gonna last.”
“Nothing lasts,” I say.
She laughs
Shows me her hands
Let me touch them
And I can imagine those hands
All over me
Understanding
Not judgemental
Soothing.
Then she has to go
Of course.
I look at my bench
Someone had carved a heart
In the wood.
Old story I guess.

Ellar Wise

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