The Secret Life of Musical Instruments

for Claudia Burson

Between midnight and Reno
the world borders on a dune.
The bus does not stop.

The boys in the band have their heads on the rest.
They dream like so-and-sos.

The woman smokes
one after another.
She is humming “Strange Fruit.”
There is smoke in her clothes, her voice,
But her hair never smells.

She blows white petals off her lapel,
tastes salt.
It is a copacetic moon.

The instruments do not sleep in their dark cribs.
They keep cool, mediate.
They have speech with strangers.

Come all ye faithless
young and crazy victims of love.
Come the lowlife and the highborn
all ye upside-down shitasses.

Bring your own light.
Come in. Be lost. Be still.
If you miss us at home
we’ll be on our way to the reckoning.


Darren Angle