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The Jazz Singer

This small forgotten bar in the middle of the city
The girl sits behind the piano
No one pays her any mind except me

Her smile a slash of sadness
She plays her first chord
And from nowhere this jazz sound emerges

She should be playing in concerts
Her fingers caress the ivory keys
She coaxes brilliance out of the tired old piano in the corner

And she sings of heartache and beauty
She bares her soul so personally it makes me want to turn away
But I can’t tear my eyes away as she echoes our forgotten dreams

The whore trying to pick up johns recalls
when she came to this city to be an actress
Before life crushed her down

An old drunk with tears in his eyes remembers
his youthful happiness with his wife and kids
Before the booze took them away

The barman wiping down the glasses reminisces
on how he only came to this bar while writing his manuscript
Twenty years on, it lays forgotten with his dreams

I sip my drink slowly and think

Of her voice, and write in my notebook
Of smoky jazz and candescent chords
Of Bach and B minuses
Of Nina, Ella, Billie and Etta

Her voice echoes the same haunting loveliness
 intertwined with loss, suffering and madness

She's everything we've ever lost
She's bleakness and beauty
She's that last lost hope

She is you and me...

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