Amy Trussell
 
 

 

         MUSCLE SHOALS

For Jake Berry

I am drifting down from Nashville

Along the Natchez Trace with the radio on

They warn about tornadoes

Erupting like mushrooms on the radar screen

 

Deep wind drives through skirts of clouds

Even in the dark warehouse, the destination

Where I stand with tall friend cooking

Up a dance beneath the leaking moon

 

Thunder punctuating your Delilah song

In a cafť with a heart sealing the door

Painted flames coming out the sides

Like a souped-up car from the year we were born

 

Next day we move slow lazy snakes

Stopping to pick cotton that froths from the pods

Like foamy beer from the bottom of a keg

Shoes in red clay, crows circle above

 

You keep seeing lightning off in the clouds

But I press up near the windshield and I donít

It must be my eyes, you smile

Excuse me, Iím pulling over to have a vision

 

You watch the aqua vitae

Of these tree-encircled swamps

Rise up in stillness like steam

Off the breath of a casket maker

 

And transport me to a destroyed plantation

We feel spirits of disembodied slaves

Stone columns are all that are left

And the graveyard across the way

 

Where someone left a blanket

We walk down a condemned road

I feel a gate opening, you say

Turning your head towards the woods

 

I put my ear to the ground in the cemetery

Where the masters are under slabs

There is unresolved static

That rises up through the soles

 

When dripping down the stairs of darkness

The planets form a string of pearls

You distill it all down in the lab

In glass retorts & dissolved notes

 

Thereís a murder mystery going round

The creamy center of this universe

About how we split off and fell

From that main storm cell

 

You say we wonít get out on time

With these virgin parchment records

But that All true art opens out, sister

It opens out into the infinite

Copyright © 2002 Amy Trussell.  All Rights Reserved.

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