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she holds court
at the far end
of the bar,
gaudiness manifest
in a leopard dress
and gold scarf,
hair done up
in a mad beehive
and eyelids
glittering blue,
her long cigarette
dangling, precariously
from too-red lips
as she waves
a glass of scotch,
never spilling
a drop

but her hands
and throat
betray the truth
only a fool
would dare
speak for fear
of breaking
the spell

and risking
an ass-kicking
to remember