Leave Your Hat On

    I had a dream. You were in it. I was in it with 
                        Randy Newman

In this dream, this late summer dream,
born of angel wings and cobwebs,
of too many birthdays and graying hair,
I arrive in a bar from our days together,
body young and taut beneath that hat 
you gave me, breasts ripe with hope.

I search for 'that' song on the juke...
The one about the hat.

Newman's version not Cocker's.
Newman does itóreal slow.

How many times did I dance it for you
in our moonlit room in the commune?

Piano building, Randy coaxing,
I kick off my shoes, climb onto a chair,
wiggle my hips.

Interest rises beneath every belt.
Drinks sizzle.
Bar stools implode.

The men toss clever lines to net this tease,
this wanton witch on a chair, but I dance 
only for you, dear, hope the heat lures you
back one more time.

Silence looms.

Song ending, absence overwhelming,
I rush past greedy fingers,
already transforming back into
an aging, dream-groggy woman
lost to the heart-breaking night.

Pris Campbell


Published in The Outlaw Poetry Network May 2012

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