the reverend poured his old yardstick out across his concrete yard
setting strings and drinking gin out of his fathers mason jar.
he was a good shooter, he could’ve been something more,
at least that’s what the others say,
but the reverend plays indifferent, waving at the neighbors
giving a sample screw a spoke
he dresses in his county suit three times a week, one button off or four.
each sunday in July, the reverend cleans out his Ford
food crumbs, 50ml bottles and minutes from the school board.
he drives into town, with his dog, Lewis Snide
picks up a big can of beer, and drinks it in her driveway.
sometimes the afterburn is better than before
most times you fall asleep primed for something more
but each window of the reverend’s life, were places he could reside
content to be a malcontent, driving to a ruptured room on a freeway overpass
he dances half-present to a strange bed, asleep under the dripping drool of the night fly.
the reverend’s two sons and daughters, would come home twice a year
he stank of scotch and soda, and Swisher Sweets snuck on his private pier
giving the oldest second-hand son his signature bad advice.
it took the reverend sixty-two years, to remember his first twenty-nine
remembering a lanky kid with a spot-up three, and hustle you couldn’t buy.
now he rolls around in his circle town, thinking about words he could’ve said
to a girl he used to call on Saturday evenings, a girl named JoAnne Skye.
he likes to think he’s different, he likes to think he had no choice
he reads the book he’s read before, notations on a thin spool of thread
the neighbors say he’s close to lost it, said he’s close to sitting on stand-by
a heart with no color, a good long look tuned to a private eye
yeah you think your different, yeah I’m sure you heard the right advice,
but each night you make your own bed, under the naked eye of the night fly.