Jackson, I loved your whiskey

every evening in the Dark Horse Bar

until bikers knocked my teeth in.


I woke up staring at the river with no religion,

only belief in the dancer’s toes,

how the wind speaks,

and paupers cut crosses from willow.

Now moss grows over my grave.


As a young man, I dug fence holes

watching your lights in the distance.

I never earned my fortune back,

and the fields grew to weeds.


I loved you for no good reason, Jackson,

even when your fire left holes

so wide in my house

that ivy began to crawl down the stone.

And I made love to your daughter,

who I realized when I woke had a sun tattooed on her back.

But I still lay in the darkness, holding her.

She was poor. Lived on cigarettes and bluegrass,

and left the window open in the morning,

listening to children singing in the yard.


No angel had hair as black as hers. 

Her bruises have turned to dust.

A brief parting. 

In the end, we will balance like crows on phone wires.


I died that next morning, asleep in the snow.

I finally gave up where long years ago,

my father watched moths fly into the sun.

It did not hurt much if anything.

The light all fell out at once.


I felt so empty here. I lived among the dust.

I dreamt the thunder hated the wind, but could never catch it.

Each time, the wind was further ahead.

Blake Lynch recently obtained his Juris Doctorate. His poems have appeared in The Brooklyner, Chelsea, King Log, 2River, The Stray Branch, The Oakbend Review, Stone Highway Review, The Potomac, Zygote in My Coffee, Forge, 491 Magazine, Pif Magazine, and Shampoo, among others. Blake's plays have been performed at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City and The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, England.

This poem was first written at Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a prompt given to me by my dear friend, mentor, and wickedly talented novelist, Myra McLarey. This form of the poem was inspired by: (1) a black and white photograph of my great grandfather Lynch, (2) a Great Depression era watercolor mural of Jesus Christ my grandfather Carlson slung newspapers to buy, and (3) a girl from Bloomington. The last part (about the thunder hating the wind), was pure luck.



Copyright 2009