She used to be Viola, cornfed daughter of dirt.
Baby fat blonde jumped the nowhere bus,
bootlace flapping, gritty chapstick in her pocket
pasteurized milk in her daddy's scotch thermos.
Fate est. 1977, she walked away on rooted feet,
now she shakes a disillusioned ass at a titty palace
called the Maraschino Cherry; screaming red walls
full of glaring Warhol and polite bouncers in suits.
The clientele speaks of Paris, of summers spent
at Archipelago de Colon in knowing voices.
It brags like a regular Studio 54, but it's just another
downtown hard bar, the regular fakes licking Kismet
from squares of cellophane, faces pulled in passion.
The stage pops and snaps, the crackle of charged air
makes her think of the spark chamber she saw once
at a county science fair, when she was still Viola,
baby fat blonde the crowds called Sapphire,
because it was spelled out behind her on a backdrop,
sputtering tubes of violent blue spitting static at her back.
She sways on rooted feet, runs a dry tongue over drier lips
and thinks of chapstick, of warm milk in a plaid thermos.