That guy has found the one quiet pocket
at the back of the store and is filling it with twelve-bar
guitar noodling that goes round and round till it bumps
into itself, strum tripping over finger picking.
Hunched on a stool, he whittles away
the emptiness of the day.
We only hear him when we’re standing close
—his notes mostly swallowed by
but we know that if he ever stops,
the downbeat mood once vented in chord progressions
will settle into our marrow,
making us mourn for instruments we’ve pawned
and all the seasons done and gone.
writes poetry, edits fiction, plays the banjo, and knits obsessively in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Pirene’s Fountain, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and New Ohio Review. Her first collection, Notes from the Girl Cave, was published in 2020 by Kelsay Books.