Her dark eyes flitter between places, but they snap the photo anyway,
Just another endearing memento of a moment in one city —
Imperishable, unlike her, cherishable, like a photo —
Her wayward gaze and constant, focused daze, all caught in the framable way
That she never, never did look for the camera.
In the car, chasing her between states, she reminds them of Sinatra’s “Tramp,”
That strong-headed, wandering woman he sings, that cannot be understood;
They hear her over the stereo in that picturesque imperfection,
The lack of inhibition that lets her float freely, money-free,
That glamorous “free soul” effect that girls strive to be.
Whirling through Southern California, she searches bottles’ empty bottoms,
Follows the fragrance of perfume that smells so misleadingly of love, and
Waits the nights out on benches, waiting for the breeze to bring a ticket
To the destination she’d fly to the world’s edge to reach…and she might:
Freedom, it eludes her, while hope, as flight, continues to abuse her.
She fell through his life like a postcard one night, the writing washed out with rain,
Sunglasses on, alone by the bus stop; see him seeing her she did not,
But watched eagerly the passing headlights promising her next futile lift —
Alone by the bus stop, she looked just like a magazine cover to him,
Like the model who poses carefree for cameras she can see.
In wonder, he entered the lamplight to get himself a closer glimpse,
Saw her step from the light as the bus arrived, and leapt to pull her back under,
Held her tight where she had stood a moment before, to make that image last,
But she writhed and shrieked — still he held tighter — ’til forced from its fate, her soul broke free.
Left were broken chains, her blind existence’s sad remains.
They rattled down the street, as he watched the bus leave.