The Romance



The following is the poetic beginning of a love story set to a lone saxophone's moan of "It Had To be You." No one and neither of its lovers knew the music they made would slowly descend into The Blues. From "Like litter in the Wind" lmr


     Ah Love! This was indeed a very rare thing for Gig Swinton… but sometimes a man had to step outside of himself and surrender his stoic mask of machismo.

     He had to relinquish this madness in his head, and strip away his tight suit of behavior. He had to show the world all that truly resided within him. He needed Dakota Armstrong to know that everything he’d ever dreamed and imagined his life to be, he now envisioned for the two of them. He wanted to tell Dakota this, and so this creative spirit within him revealed it to her in a poem.

     That night, he would ask for her hand in marriage, backed by his band playing a jazz-tinged version of “It Had To Be You”.

     He stepped to the microphone in Minton’s and boldly let his lyrical manifesto flow:

     “My love for you has journeyed through the clouds to a place that is higher than the stars. And now those stars sit static inside their blackened coats. And now those stars are jealous of our beauty. And now those stars they blush from this Love we make beneath them. In some other time, far away, you were my Queen, my Sheba, and I believe you ruled my heart even then. It was God Himself who forged our reunion and merged our souls again.

      And now that I’ve found you, I am warm and whole in a space where my spirit was cold and frozen. And now I hear music in a place where before the lyrics were all unspoken. And now, there is music in my heart, and it waltzes to the rhythm of Love’s fast feet. It is you, Dakota, my one-time Sheba. You choreograph this foolish routine. And now it beats inside my chest. And now it sets free this dancer in me. And the stories in your face mix with this music of your hips … and inspire new concertos in me.

      And what am I to do with these songs you’ve birthed within the concert halls of my soul? I want to play them only inside your waiting ear and for future generations of our brethren to hear, and to know they were made from Love.

      And to let them know, this New Black Love exists, and it gave us wings and it gave us flight, and it gave us the ability to soar so high that our heels would scrape the dark corners of night.

      You see, Love is the gift I get from you, and love is the package I present to you. Just say you’ll take it, baby… because your love is the lyric and the melody in me. Your love is the moan and the MUSIC… and the only tune I need to make me forever your dancing fool.”


     When it was over, an uncommon silence haunted every corner of the room. People who knew him, and those who’d come there to be entertained by the edgy effervescence of the band, each of them were left suddenly agog. The silence lasted just a few uncomfortable moments, and then the roar of the crowd’s applause came in a wave of whistles, shouts and the noise of approval.

      Dakota sat absolutely transfixed by this tall, fine, rich-copper prince who’d just confessed an undying love for her. She wanted to cry the happiest tears of her young life. She wanted to run to that stage and decorate his handsome face with a thousand wet kisses. Yes. She wanted to marry him, to bear his babies, to sing, to write their names in the sky. She wanted to be the lovely satin doll in the life of this one jazzman. She wanted to be his black pearl and to dream this whole new world together. And for an instant, it appeared that he’d actually offered that shining new world to her.

     When the set was done, after the band had packed away their transcendent instruments and the lush life of the club’s night had quieted and crowd petered down to just a chosen few, Dakota had to know if it was real or a foolish dream. Had he meant all those wonderful things he’d recited while looking so deeply inside her eyes?  Or was it simply just a part of his show?

      “Did you mean it, Giggles? Did you mean every one of those words you said to me, baby?” she asked, her voice hopeful as a child who makes a wish upon a star.




From the novel  "Like Litter in the Wind"  by L.M. Ross e-book on sale @

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