My Poetry

She’s just an old guitar these days,
muggy sunburst fading into its twilight
her rocky voice gone to gravel,
cigarette bums on her neck
and scratched in more places
than table legs in a cat shelter.
But once she was a stunner, and difficult.
Back then I was twelve and notorious
for pimples, all smolder and hope.
Locked in my bedroom, my fingers
would be all over her, tips bleeding
the blues of Clapton,
jaunty Hendrix purples,
the blood-red streaks of Page.
My parents’ yard sales dispatched
my once-used ice skates from Christmas
and the flat footballs of my birthdays
Salvation Anny got the unfloggable catcher’s mitt.
I get outside more often now;
tonight I’m somewhere outside
Tulsa. The last set ends and we get
just enough applause to resent it.
My drunllner says he wants to quit
so I fudge some more, this time
about the chicks I know in Wichita.
Later, back at the offramp motel,
sitting barefoot by the empty pool,
I hold her in my lap, cradle her neck,
and dress her up in brand new strings:
all the affection she’ll get tonight.
I hate to see her like this, all unstrung,
the glamour long gone. But sometimes,
when the urge strikes and the distant ear
of the moon hangs around late, we’ll find
ourselves alone and make music
as pure as minerals. I’ll plead
and coax out of her
the most cobalt, impossible blues
and I’ll be damned
if those tears don’t come
straight down from heaven.

zolotoe kolco