The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award
By Isabella Williams
Smooth jazz on a Wednesday night for people who sip wine from plastic glasses and talk about themselves to each other
And flirt and pounce and flounce with ideas that they don’t know about, or like, or love.
They sit on tapestried couches next to roses with perfume sprayed on the petals
The same perfume sprayed on their breasts
The same breasts repeated over and over, framing cubic zirconia pendants that glint with the light of the chandelier
Class rings and class ties and tax forms and stock portfolios and sold souls and lost dreams.
You stand next to the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award nailed into the wall,
A flat bronze bust of Louis Armstrong rusted into a board engraved with the names of the real jazz cats:
Ella, Bird, Miles, Coltrane, good ol’ Benny, the Count
You have whiskers on your jaw and wet pink lips and you slink through the crowd grasping for more names to add
But names are scarce and mouths are weak:
Banker, investor, lawyer, doctor, lawyer, banker
And you come over to me, pink lips smiling,
Heart racing, butterflies tumbling their wings fanning my sweat oh God oh my God
I wish you didn’t ask for my name and I wish I was a grey dustbunny of cat
Because every time I look at the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award I smell my perfume and clutch my necklace
And I think about how I am just smooth jazz on a Wednesday night
I am a high school senior and have been writing since I was very, very young. Lover of travel, food, and obviously, writing.