1. Fortuna


Fortuna, by Lauryn Shapter

On a long-suffering barstool with your sad barbed wire heart
The end of the day surely finds you
While the smoke from the ashtray like seven silk veils
Seduces you into the bitter blues

And you watch as a girl with more tattoos than years
Pours the escape you’ve come in here for
But the gold in the glass on the old polished bar
Just reminds you of the dangers of wanting more

Then Fortuna steps up to the nicotine keys
With a flick of the wrist she spins the wheel
Of the worn wooden perch atop clawfoot and glass
A minor chord, a broken song, a soul revealed

And the microphone drinks from her cracked crystal voice
And she breathes in the gin and the bourbon and beer
Of the ghosts and the demons, the saints and the whores
Who’ve lived inside these brick walls for a hundred years

So you stare down your whiskey in its hazy etched glass
And it dares you to get up and walk away
From the bar to the stage and that cracked crystal voice
And the wistful song her Mardi Gras piano plays

Then Fortuna looks through a curtain of black
That she draws off her face with a porcelain hand
Will the midnight and the pale and the sunset-smeared chords
Pull you into her tarnished and her holy land

How sweet her tarnished and her holy land