Don’t turn the lights up yet

Some people can’t go home –
lips purpled with red wine,
she is still calling out
for one more song.

This is her home

in here, she’s 22, mistakes unmade –
the guy who never left his wife for her,
the casting agent who forgot her name –
vowing tomorrow she’ll get up and write
or paint, something creative, anyway –

she’s scary drunk,the slightest thing
might flip her into anger, or despair –

just one more tune, and one more drink –

the rest of us are tired, and useless,
and don’t understand. We all got old –
how did that happen? – she stayed young,
look at her, how she’s dancing,
shoes left somewhere, don’t know where,
bottle in hand

I’m worried she might fall.

life’s better when your head is buzzing,
full of dreams, dragged out and polished up

they still look golden when the lights are dim.


Day 10 of Jilly’s 28 days of Unreason-able Jim Harrison quotes. Today’s is:

“Just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.”

from Birds Again

~ Jim Harrison

7 thoughts on “Don’t turn the lights up yet

  1. This is wonderful, Sarah. I wondered if she was the writer’s (not necessarily you) younger self still living in dreams or simply someone watched by others–bruised, stumbling, but still dancing. I like the ambiguity.


  2. I believe I know this person… I have one who comes out with wine as well. With hard liquor, he comes out as a charming action hero-type. God knows where they all come from. I love the way you wrote this, and agree with the comment about the ambiguity about who or what this is — which only adds to the charm.


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