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Night Noon
by James Navé

A small plane labors overhead. I wonder where the pilot is going in the cool spring air so close to midnight.
Jazz players call this night noon. It's the blue time, the get-me-high time, the lonely time, the time they
fill their songs with smoke.

I lie on my bed listening to Billie Holiday. I’ve lost twelve pounds in the last three weeks. I will swallow
enough jazz to gain it back. I rub my skin. I know why Billie closed her eyes when she sang. She was sad even
when her songs were happy. You can forgive Billie's sad when she sings "All of Me."

Any of us would do well to sing like Billie, to pour songs out of our mouths like a fine romance. It’s hard when
your lover is in New York. You miss her, but a little jazz moves things along. I am not afraid to be tender, nor
am I afraid to love.

Let's not weep for the ones we’ve left behind, not when our memories are kind. Let's say to Billie, Oh Jazz woman,
play that hurricane blues rising through the marsh grass warmer than a coastal moon. Black magic June loves steel
rhythm blues and robs melancholy to make me happy. Oh Jazz woman, when the air is thin, fill my mouth with night.

The rain comes. Billie sings 'Summertime.'


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