SATYR IN THE CITY
Exhausted, the satyr slumps
onto the wood and concrete bus bench
that advertises a real estate agency.
He throws back his shaggy head, wheezing
from the city air, exhaling
his rancid breath.
Bits of garbage fleck his beard
and cling to the point of the swollen ear
he rubs with bloodied finger.
The noise of the street irks and benumbs him.
All around, the waiting commuters avert their eyes
from the swarthy undesirable—all
but the sandy haired ballet student
who primly rests buttocks on bench edge and admires
the stranger’s thick, wool leg warmers
and tiny, cloven shoes.
“Exactly the opposite of my pointe shoes,”
she jokes to herself.
She wants to glance at his bare abdomen and chest
and compare his musculature to that of the new boy
who lifted her all afternoon. She wants to,
but does not, fearing a come on.
Noticing her, the satyr lifts
his battered pipes of pan to his mouth
and plays a few, dim notes, hoping
to excite something within her, perhaps
make her his for a moment.
The bus approaches, and the dancer,
not unmoved by the music,
stretches her hand toward the satyr’s
and presses her fare into his palm.
“Nice tune,” she offers, rising,
then turns to join the short line at bus door,
digging deep into her bag
for more change.
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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