Reginald Harris

Prelude to a Saturday Night

Lock the working week
away. Practice perfect placement
of a cigarette, a glass –
when to get loud
when to perform
Prepare each perfect line.
Buff your nails to a high sheen.
Prepare your fingers for their
late-night snaps, your head
for tossing, ass for switching, turning,
twitching, following the rhythm down
whatever street the DJ takes you.
Choose the right outfit from those
mopped from this week’s stores.
Consult your friends
The local dealer
A bank machine
The stars
A mirror:
beat your face back to its teens.
Tip down glass-strewn sidewalks
as if on a runway –
Alcohol is anodyne, antidote to loneliness.
Accept the gift of every head
turning in your direction. Tell
them, regally, what you want, what
you will and what you won’t. Toss the door
wide open. And let them have it.
(for Marvin K. White)

Reginald Harris
Prelude to a Saturday Night is from 10 Tongues (Three Conditions Press, 2002).