by Cynthia Linville
She dripped red across four time zones –
nail polish, hair dye, ink, blood –
trying to stay ahead of the refrain
that chased her like a flood.
In Barstow a honky tonk shaman –
fingers trembling on guitar strings—
called her to the altar
at the motel across the street.
She touched him as if he could heal her
his thigh-vein pulsing her fingers
to the music in her ears.
In the morning they felt like two skeletons –
teeth on teeth when they kissed –
and she drove on towards Mexico
still listening for the music she missed.