Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2020  Vol. 19 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Line Dance

In file the cowboy-folk like the serried
soldiers they wish they were: one works
at Bill’s Collision, patching mufflers, soldering
subs and jacking up trucks. Another fry-cooks
over at Shore’s, where scrapple’s served
24/7 and the heart-attack burger’s half-price,
come Wednesday night. A third’s got stable
muck or feedlot shit still stuck up under
his instep lug, but same as always, in we go
to neon barrooms and claptrap saloons,
to watering holes drank-near-dry, keno lounges
and karaoke haunts, juke joints and dives
tucked away in strip mall arcades,
wherever, really, so long as we can
put a heel to toe and dosey-doe, move
together in synchronicity. In the gravel lot
outside, a line of pickups sit idle, plotted
in a nice, neat grid. An iron scrotum sags
from a hitch. We put one foot in front of
the other. We reel. We rise. For all our steps,
we go nowhere. We’ve come to bitch and moan
and lie. We’ll work until we die. We get in line.  

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