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Rags in a Row (A Lesson in Plumbing)To A. Loudermilk's previous piece

Crooked County (at The Bluebird with You)

Belly to the back of her double bass, 7 months
pregnant & hot as hell-swat, pluck, wail

& make me jealous. I want to be that baby.

Old Slew Foot, Jr. I want to be borne of that
bass-belly into this tavern smoke & tied by her 

mean strings. And you, you sit behind me: you

& your shit-eating grin & your tapping foot & 
your dare whispered into my ear to write a poem 

of all things before I pass out tonight drunk

& over-toked at 4 a.m. when the rest of the world
is usually chasing me out of their dirty chat rooms. 

You point out the girl who gave you something. 

She sways to a cocaine dirge. I'm not jealous 
of the girl who gave you herpes. But yeah I'm jealous 

of the girl you wanted. On stage the baby kicks & I

cross a bridge to momma's sloping shoulder. Her  
fingers sting & she sings about falling into rings of fire. 

Buddy, you got to know I want you but I'd trade you 

in half a whiskey-shot to have that voice, big around 
the middle & broad across the rump. Looks a lot like me.

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