T.C. Carter

NEW ORLEANS


Jerked awake
by one of those strange
nervous system malfunctions
that jolts my entire body
like a violent whiplash

thin coating of sweat
layered on my skin
like butter on a bread loaf
hot from the oven

bad dream
clinging to the edge
of remembrance
but losing it’s grip

the air still and heavy 
with ozone
and a hint of magnolia

Sheet lightening 
off to the east

smell of rain
in the distance

two a.m. train
clickity-clacking
it’s way through Danville
on it’s way to Richmond

Tired to the bone
but wide awake now
mind starts wandering
to places 
I don’t want it to go

doesn’t change anything
or make life any easier
doesn’t bring anybody…back

Switch on the bedside lamp
get that gritty wordsmith
Tom Waits singing
Nighthawks at the Diner
turned down low

pick up the Ace Atkins book
I bought at the Goodwill Store
for three dollars
called “Dirty South”
and try to get myself 
…lost…in New Orleans




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