Once, a Man Knew a Woman

I’d forgotten about this little poem until I stumbled across it this morning.

Once, a Man Knew a Woman

A man of lowly birth found
a trumpet and taught himself
to blast the hell of it, making
a name for himself on the jazz
circuit before moving into the
avante-garde world of Gay Paree,
where he met a legless woman
who sang like only a fucked-over
lover can, her doomed heart beating
hard whenever she saw the man,
his breathing turning ragged when
he picked her up and carried her
onto whatever stage would have them.

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