Academic journal article Antipodes

The Seduction

Academic journal article Antipodes

The Seduction

Article excerpt

In the restaurant's dry white light

a jazz guitarist is swilling the dregs

of a tune. You pour a glass of red

for a woman caught in your net

of casual flattery. She smiles

and licks the light from her lips,

shadows from the candle clutching

her neck. You notice she's looking

out the window, where an old man

is pacing the pavement in the rain.

Water is dripping like sweat

from his face but he doesn't seem

to feel it, his hands are clenched

at his back as if they were cuffed.

You dip into her eyes, take her hand

and she sips at your cocktail promises.

Outside, the old man is still pacing,

it looks as if he's been wound up.

She sniggers, mutters something

about getting fresh, then strolls

away to the bathroom, swaying

like wine gently tipped in a glass.

While you loosen up at the table,

the old man walks to the window,

he stares past the smiling diners

at you. …

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