Ode to a Cheap Blue Guitar
Give you twenty bucks
for that old Ko-RE-an thang,
the pawn shop man drawled.
Horrified, I walked out. Tried to
hold tight to you, beautiful
blue first love stratclone guitar.
But the Ford’s tires were flat,
the bills were due, and you
never sang in my hands.
We just never connected
like I would with others, later,
with lower actions whose necks
felt better in my fumbling
hands. But beauty stutters
the lips, and you were ocean
midnight neon airport lights,
the color of the sounds I wanted.
But those thintread tires needed
changing. We said goodbye.
Sometimes I still try to find you.
We’ll reconnect on eBay, maybe
Craigslist. I poke my head
in some south Austin pawn shop
hoping you’re still around twenty
years later, that headstock nick
from the ceiling fan a story
only you and I will ever know.
by James Brush
literary journal: Gnarled Oak
books: Birds Nobody Loves, A Place Without a Postcard
Editor’s note: Imagery and personification give the guitar in this ode a rich life. This line, “the color of the sounds I wanted,” is the center of this poem for me.