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she looked across the sunny sky
sharp-nosed sharks coming from every angle
she sat down crying next to him
hands clasped over her ankles.
you said “when people die on screen
while the rest of the audience is grieving
I always watch the dead man’s chest
to catch the actor breathing”
and when the sky went dark and still
she filled the barks with verses
well I never liked the country much
the crickets make me nervous
the lights came on with no warning
some shitty shameless fraud of a morning
I cursed the ragged frame that I was born in
on the way back home I had the strangest thoughts
somebody ought to punch my brain in
there were dots and dashes in the wind
and it was raining
and so I walked under the front porch roofs
fitting questions to tractable answers
then cones of light beamed down on me
just automatic motion sensors!
so where's that giddy gutless knave
who made me join the circus?
I'll put the sucker in his grave
just show me where the hearse is!
the empty silos stack rain
bombs plummet out of black planes
onto town squares and slow lanes...
That faulty neon light it flashed
upon my face like lightning
I threw the key out in the trash
and slowly reeled the kite in
haven't you learned from Lee Mavers?
spurn the stunned fool who wavers
and hit him hard on the leg he favors