RYAN COLLINS


 
AVE SUSANNA

Our lady of bleeding gums   of eyes cellophaned in tears
Our lady of crocodile tears & picked pockets
Our lady of iron in the coals   branding for the lord
Our lady of angel harps & harmonicas   blow us some harp
       to carry us home   walk us out in the morning dew
       put us out to pasture
Our lady of edges & cliffs   walk us over the edge of the cliff

Give us the strength to not have the strength we need to save ourselves & the
ones we love

I’ll give you five dollars if you rock-out one verse of “Oh! Susanna”
       right now on the world’s smallest harmonica—
       five American dollars & yes I have seen someone do it before

Our lady of perpetual snare on the two & four   it’s been Lent nearly three weeks now
       & I have yet to give anything up
       too weak to follow through & too strong in my stubborn
       to ever quit anything   even if quitting would be the best thing for me

I manage to hold tempo & stay on book   so Oh! Susanna don’t you cry for me
       I’ll pluck & clap   kneel & keep the faith
       Our lady / full of grace / the lord is with thee

Our lady of too-too late nights   of unruly banjos who refuse to stay in tune
       but hang around in the sinus cavity all morning   banging around
       like a sword in a 55-drum filled with fire & brimstone
       like the devil in my teeth
Our lady of teeth & the devil   Our lady of 10,000 miracles   deliver us from stubborn hands
 
 
 
 
ALMOST ANYTHING

I get terrible bored being the enemy.

You tell me to enemy is terrible
but how else to be? It’s tired, this
fight, the heavy eyelids we see each
Other thru too often, too turned
Around & terrible at each other.

Tied down, knives out & sharp on
putting them to a throat, any throat.

This is not why you & I Martini & Rossi.

I just want to be more the Hall to
your Oates, but then you say I can’t go
for that/no-o-no/no can do/can’t go for that

& we laugh going at each other’s throats.
 
 
 
 



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