Poem 5

           

                Leaving Nashville

 

Dolly Parton has vacated my soul

the essence of Merle and Loretta now

no longer weeps nor seeps

from the pores of my skin

 

my ears are not plugged with barroom vomit

my tongue no longer speaks

Pedal Steel

 

the cells of my body are not honky-tonks

nor my heart an old pickup truck

my Daddy once gave me

 

my eyes have grown blind

to the sequined reflections of

Mama

Texas small farm harmonicas

Broken-hearted barmaid jealousies

washed in

whiskey infatuations

and

the blood of the Lord

 

my jaundiced, overtaxed liver vacations now

from detoxification of lyrics encrusted with

sap

saccharin

indigestible corn

 

Crucifix in hand

intoning ancient Latin incantations of power

my blood has at last exorcised the Johnnies

Paycheck

&

Cash

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