Whiskey Boxes Floating in the Middle of the Air

Mongo waltzes whiskey barrels up a plank-
ramp into the old, barn-red Dodge coupe’s trunk.

His crouch-n’-dig stance like a lineman
pushing a blocking sled or a lumper lift-

grunting a gun safe up a staircase one
riser-bump thrust at a time—rhythm, pace,

balance, and gut—impresses the Miner Poet
driving this thin air dream, humming Irish

ditties and blues refrains. Blood ringing
in their ears, they pass the flask, chew couplets

and spondees, compare arched-brow stares,
recall cold nights and dark days weathering

bipolar storms. They toast and crave a low
pressure front, an imposed isolation,

winter’s whisper in the soul, that cozy slow-
down cabin fever zone all artists need

to splay their own particular noise, unload
the distillation and fermentation

of what is inside-out—those fears and joys
uncorked—the sweet-burning breath of God.

—for James Jay

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