Tuesday, February 16, 2010

That Philly Sound

You were talking about music.
And I’m watching you like a stranger would watch you.

Not like a wife,
in this bar where we are no longer strangers.

You keep talking about the Philly sound.
You want to play guitar. You tell the man in front of you.
He’s been playing the guitar in the bar.
He used to be a street musician.

Not to make money but to learn the songs.
He tells us that whenever a new wave of tourists would go by,
you could start the same song over again. It was just a long practice session.

This makes you and I smile. I like this guy. So do you.
It’s usually a good night when he’s in the joint. Calmer, maybe.

Whenever he is here, you guys talk about music.
There is a lot of nodding.
Yeah, man. Yeah, man.
You say, “and The Stylists, too.”
He laughs. “Yeah, man, definitely”
A lot of that.

I like watching you like this. It reminds me of
you before I knew you. Before we knew each other.
Before I knew that you knew so much about music.
When you were just this boy that I liked to watch.
And you said things that made me laugh.
You are doing that again right now.
After all these years.

You told me no matter what, you always think of me as a poet.
I smiled and put the bottle to my lips.

You too, baby. You too.
Even when you aren’t in front of the machine.
Even when you are just talking about the Philly Sound.

There are all these worlds in people. Worlds we know nothing about.

Don’t forget that part too. After the loss and the ugly and the anger and rage
and the men on the street that yell horrors at the women who go by and the taking and the death and rot and the stink and the impending storm that might keep the snow falling for the next seven years.

There is also this. Always this.

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