Comanche County Blues

Comanche County Blues
Mesquite stuck in the grill—radiator incense—
       Brings back the scent of you.
But the hound dog don’t mind,
       Though his ear twitches like a red clay-covered mud flap
                            When the radio plays Patsy Cline.
The truck wallows in ruts
       Not traversed since the spring thaw
Headlights don’t help much in the brush,
       So I drive by a callus and nicotine compass.
The moon sliver over the Cimarron is still bright enough
       To dim the stars clear down to Medicine Creek,
And the cattle bunch as the pick-up approaches the crossing guard
       That tattle-tells with the rattle of fenders held on by bailing wire.
And I’d cross Indian Country for you,
       Though Indian Country now amounts to a gauntlet
Of slot machines down in Chickashaw or outside Lawton.
       But I’d do it just the same—with change in my pocket.
I miss the bruised lips
       From your chipped tooth kisses,
And the way your hips move in blue jeans
       When you know a man is a-watchin’.
Since you don’t get out ‘til Saturday,
       I think I’ll bed down out in canyon country
On that sandbar cluttered with driftwood
       And build a bonfire to the sky.
                            Eat sweet peaches out of the can.
The dog’s got food enough to the weekend,
       And the weed ain’t half-bad.
So I’ll pull out that ole steel-bodied dobro,
       Play them sweet blues in open key.
You always marveled a man who named his dog, Agamemnon,
       Who knows Segovia yet prefers Jerry Jeff Walker—
Would chose honky-tonkin’ with you on Saturday night
       Makin’ love in a sleepin’ bag in the bed of a truck
                            The 12 bar blues replacin’ the disciples come Sunday morning.
And so you know, the whisky won’t hold out ‘til you get here—
       But then it never did.
But while it does, we’ll sing, ole Aggie and me,
       Me with them angels and him hearin’ the coyotes in the hills.
We’ll smell the meth cookin’ up the canyons
       As entrepreneurs work the nights away
For black kids in Oklahoma City.
       And I’ll write the saddest song ever known and light the lyrics
                            The next morning to start a fire for coffee.
I’m staying put ‘til you get sprung.
       You’ll have to love me or kill me.
There ain’t no in-between no more—not with us.
       We’re whittled down to bone.
And I’d a never turned you in, you know—
       Though you did stab me with my own filet knife—
If you hadn’t scratched the dobro—it’s a ’52 National
       And they ain’t makin’ them no more.
                            Just like you, they broke the mold.
So when you get out of county,
       I figure you’ll come lookin’ for me.
I just ain’t figured out if it’ll be with a deer rifle or not.
       So bring it on, I got it comin’
I got a carton of cigarettes
       So ‘I can hold out ‘til you get here,
I’ll be playin’ them Comanche County Blues.
       Ole Aggie says hey.
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