D.E. Kern

 

THE MUSIC OF ANOTHER PLACE

 

Great cities hold their rivers and their jazz in high regard,
trust secrets to the cattail-covered caves along the bank;
it’s miles beneath the drummer’s glistening skin where he is scarred.

I pulled a jack in Dayton. Damn Missouri; damn that card.
Just the promise of a state line keeping me awake.
Great cities hold their rivers and their jazz in high regard.

The Rust Belt’s rippled bicep ran alongside of my car.
I found the club where Cleveland’s steel crowd always drank,
and it’s miles beneath the drummer’s glistening skin where he is scarred.

Indiana courted me with unfamiliar stars,
miles to dream out of a window and contemplate their ranks.
It’s light years to a city with jazz held in high regard.

St. Louis came too quickly for my untrustworthy heart,
pounded me with images of what I could not take
in the hours before arriving where the drummer’s glistening skin is scarred.

Columbia, like a lover, tried slipping past me in the dark,
but the saxophone’s sweet sex had roused me from that state.
Kansas City holds its rivers and its jazz in high regard.
The drummer smiles; it’s miles beneath his skin where he is scarred.

 

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