Black Guitar

By Michelle Bitting

To pick that glint-edged glamour,
lacquered body, lustrous odalisque,
strung flower. Imagine skipping
my fingers like Dorothy
down its long fretted neck,
enchanted path, inevitable Oz,
the O of sound spinning wild
from that midnight pit. Big obsidian
lung sighing, Billie Holiday’s
sheened hip if a hip could sing
and hers could. Every pore
pitch perfect. Notes embossed
on the underside of skin. Even
nostrils, an interior syrup,
run through with primordial
song. I crave this instrument
with cut-away puzzle, missing
curlicue and plug-in potentials.
The way I crave salvation,
a head-long plunge
into amplified abyss, a certain
grunge such beauty requires.
Three squares humiliation
and a stomach for the fall.
Patience, patience. My singing
improves with every hard knock
plucked. Into these arms, Takamine,
my dream true come — strapped on,
tuned up, Lover Man, locomotive,
on your dark-strummed rails
we’re forever born to run

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