(“…Baby,Baby, Baby, why you treat me so mean?
I say, Baby, Baby, Baby, why you keep bein mean?
I’se a hard, hard wurkin man, treat you lik a queen…
Gives you all my money.
I pays all yo bills.
An’ all I’se askin, Honey,
is fo thrills, thrills, thrills.
Baby, Baby, Baby…”)
Sturgeon leaned over his beer at the blank-blank bar
half-eared on the music and Hark carpin
bout work and conquerin women
“Man, her shit so tight she mus wourk in a rubba ban factry
had it poppin’no pop pop pop”
gutteral joint wouldn’t juke til night
when stiff backs and worksong boots’ stomp’n shuffle
smoothed to a slow smokey blues
(“Got time on my hands an nothin
but you on my mind…”)
onliest ones in the bar now laid off or laid low
Rica’d said she needed more stringent
’n fixins what to set a pot aboil—
bullheaded, Sturgeon, perched on his barstool,
been floundrin, fishin wid da boys
like when he was in school.
jus then sompin tipped his scales.
his marbled brown eyes shifted
stared blankly from both sides of his face
lips mouthed O O O O O
finally he said, “I fin’ta leave,”
his glass half-full.