Blog Post / Fall 2016 / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2016 / Volume 47

The Letter Z Marries a Stratocaster–Alan Britt

Pterodactyl shoulders slumped.
Patches ripped from my uniform.
Sewn patches, not low class iron-ons,
no sir, those patches were real for a while,
until I went to prison for something
I didn’t do; that’s when they sealed all
my patches inside a manila envelope,
my name in permanent marker across
tin clips splayed like road kill,
but a violent storm settles things
down just the way we like ’em, the
way some blackberries suffering drought
resemble belly scales of garter snakes
or opium candles licking the plaster
ceilings of dens packed like sardines
with regulars plus tourists on their way
to Atlantic City.

Pterodactyl shoulders held in highest
esteem having outlived the Mesozoic’s
lack of religion & law enforcement
now waves to a crowd hiding
behind the coral whiskers
of a Louisiana crawdad.

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