Between the acts,
I feel the rail vibrate
against the side of my boot.

Without proper
line breaks, there it goes
again. The west side

tries to get a message
through, using some restored
Morse code.

dit dit dit
dah dah dah
dit dit dit

We’re all passengers tonight—
riding out secrets on the rails,
waiting for Mr. Pop to take the stage.

I’ve already gotten vertigo
before it begins,
high up in the gallery circle clouds.

The notes I’ve taken in the dark
during the opening act
are more legible

than anything I write
when the house lights
go up after it’s all over.

And there is no more
except to forget the rose.
Accept the thorn

as part of the pain of living
with a strummed-worn
lyric heart.

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