Broadway, Nashville

You walk over the bridge, the silent playscape,
the red carpet someone pulled out from under you and left concrete.
Once you get to the other side you smell
the deep fry and sodium of music steaming off the city.
And you go in there and try to fan it all away
with your feet and voice and arms and guitar but no, it’s too many,
GI Joe has a guitar around his neck
that is no more than a gold chain, a tag.
It’s cleaner on the east side
where long haired bearded men flop out of their bare mattress
like it gave birth to them in underwear
and they fall in trash and punch their out of tune banjo
’til the strings sing together
and write a song for all the dead miners and rail road men.