Scraping the Varnish
Robert Lee Kendrick

Black feedback ringing through twilight  
fuzztone silver and blue, moon unplugs  

its guitar, slouches behind hubcap clouds,  
refuses an encore. Dawn strings pink garlands  

over leaf-mottled mud and wind doesn't care,  
fondles a baseball bat, spits. I step lightly on dirt,  

as if I could slip to the creek unnoticed.  
I've kept my picture out of the papers,  

but snakes still whisper my name. Leaves  
know each bottle I've thrown, incant lies  

I've hidden under my breath, wink   
when they share my best ones in silence.   

A mutt sprays red barks on my back.   
He won't make the task clear, but my gut   

says he'll demand I repeat the assignment,   
until I get the three-legged limp right.   

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