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Monday, September 09, 2019


by Michael Brockley

Bibles with cherrypicked scriptures highlighted in red lay scattered along the culvert on my way to Casa del Sol. Border songs play on my radio. In a decade all the rock-and-rollers will turn out the lights after their final encores. No more rockin’ in the free world. No more trouble in the heartland. No more Ruthie in her Memphis honky-tonk lagoon. The waitress who serves a whiskey sour with my aroz con camarones is beautiful with her black widow tattoo inked down to her wrist and in the way she outsmiles Halle Berry. She wears a diamond stud in her pierced nose. Rides King’s Island’s Invertigo and Banshee without a safety net. When music award shows play on the television behind the bar, she roots for Drake or Cardi B. Says her mother bought records by Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. Remembers wearing out a 45 of I Heard It Through the Grapevine one summer. I listen to sharecropper songs on the drive home. To songs by a singer named for a woman who rings like a bell in the night. A woman of constant sorrow who walks the freedom highway. I toss my dashboard Jesus out the window. The white Messiah. No one sings we won’t get fooled again. No one is running on empty tonight.

Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Jokes Review and TheNewVerse.News.