Dust collects in the passage of a song
whose melody I once swallowed
with a spoonful of iodine…

What followed was the third cousin
twice removed of a bad acid trip.

But I was smooth then and had fancier shoes,
briefcase full of blues ripped
from Robert Johnson’s fingertips.

An experience like that whips you
into a curmudgeonly fluff.

But I hung tough.
A far rougher coming of it
was had by those with bad taste,
the ones who waste energy
basting their brains with hashtags
and newsfeeds.

My reflection hardly did me any favors.
And yet, I savored my lamentable circumstance
as one savors a cup of gas station coffee.

My relations devoured me for tax purposes –
it was relaxing – but my aftertaste
carried with it a fast-acting laxative,
and so I found myself right back
where I started.

Broken hearted, standing
alone on the corner
with a song whose name I never remember
playing in my head.

-r. miller

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