Old Silver… Aged Stars over Nevada… the Usual Bluff
A little money, half a continent to drift,
you’re a past-peak gunslick of the non-rhyme.
Today you’re driving 35 or 95, nothing average,
seeking badger silence, the next cinderblock motel.
Stars overhead with ragged postage stamp edges:
glitter for the begging. The sleek Chinese girl
at Mona’s Ranch refuses to believe you’re only there
for a T-shirt. She wants to camisole-strip real slow.
Legends have their own cares. Doc Holliday coughs
at the underside of a Glenwood Springs gravestone.
And Jesus fondles Mary M.’s breasts, pounds a jug
off a table in heaven to scare off the missionaries.
And… when you flip on the motel bathroom light,
it flashes before dying. With whiskey head-throb,
with strawberry-taste skin-memories of someone,
it’s good to sleep with a .45 below your pillow.
By Sylvia Ross. (2011 Bentley Avenue Books. P.O. Box 44040, Lemon Cove, CA 93244. 390 pp. $15.)