To The Listener

Monday, July 15, 2013
you can hear wood breaking                          you’ve gotten close
in the riverbed            with the crowd stacked in and the pallets burning
with a slice of rebar     someone flogs a beat onto a paint can
with a voice to hack a lawnmower
                                                    in half        a man in a wheelchair sings
with diminished fifths elbowed into his oak accordion      his words
                                                                       you must bend down to hear
you’ve gotten close
enough to smell his sawdust                             his cigar     a smoldering wand
and something of you is breaking
when he chants above the croaking accordion                something of your town
you must find for your people
in the sound of bones and wood
a sliver of joy                                           as the fifths of vodka diminish
as the crowd inches toward the fire
at the wheelchair                 you huck your spit-cup
in the tobacco sucker-punch
            in the fist         in the bottle
                           in the gravel
                                                       and the teeth
                                              in the final kick against the Ford’s fender
in the unhinged jaw
and in the sampling of a silent man’s pulse
when you step over the body
you hear music
                                              when you wipe the blood from your boot


Monday, July 1, 2013