How best to read the wrecked religion
The lyrics have locked their bodies in my brain
and I can’t talk them out again.
They query, what in? and I beg them come out
just the same as they scurried in, where I buried
them half-addressed and my baby dead in my brain.
Where my baby died I sowed hair on the grave
that grows browner yet and shorter than his
whose hiss I introduced to the Mississippi.
The violin I hear in his ear barters no eulogy
that I withstand for his sake, the lady him.
The lyrics have stood slipshod in the street
like children pubescence injures making meek.
The lyrics make ignorant all the North
for our mountains linger drawing down, down.
He knew neither death nor the goods of breath.
But the poor boy wept as he heard my sound.
And the poor boy slept as I stroked his down.