The jazz club claps on two and four,

not this one and three horseshit they

teach in the Catholic choir, the worst

suspicions live on two and four, like

this tenor saxophonist with the bangs

that shield a single leering eye while

he bops and hunches his back on an

amphetamine craze, he tossed a rose

on two and that girl, maybe fifteen, tight

shirt or massive breasts or both, caught

it on four, the imagination writes the rest

of that story as the boozy patrons lurch

out into the brick cold, last call was at

two, but nobody really moves until four,

turns out nobody is in charge, just that

red light that turns innocence over to

the proper authorities, casts the whole

place into hell, keep clapping, nobody

knows if it’s two or four, and it hardly

matters, the last beat brushes right up

against oblivion anyway, the song is alive

and then it is dead, now these junkie teeth

chatter two and four, waiting for the next fix.

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