I’m Not Really a Waitress

for my Catherine

dipped in wine
tips calloused from
                                song
steel strings
the B always
                   flat
too flat until the
capo brings it
                      good enough for jazz
to where we are
                             now
a middle age timbre
                               tenor
                                        no, baritone
and your laugh
that laugh that always
                                   reminds
me of seventeen and
twenty and even but
                                not
all the years between

Tonight
             tonight
I wish you were
                         here
to tell me that
                      Yes
I have been stupid but
                                   Yes
it is the only way to
                                be, my beautiful cat-face
then I might sleep
                             finally
to the Billie
notes of your
                     voice
and the harmony
I sing
that only ever
                     fits
with you

c.sdmrogers 2008