The one thing you will miss when you are dead
is the music of Pat Metheny. That you will never get to listen to
“San Lorenzo” on your bed, balling your face off
like when your lover leaves you
for another lover and you swear to God believe
there will never be any more love to have
between yourself and another lover
down the river
whose name might be Barb.
Sometimes you get fired from a job
that you’ve worked at for 24 years
but when you go home you can still put on Travels and get the fuck out of Dodge
in your mind
like that time you went to Cleveland and the snow was very dirty.
When you are dead Pat Metheny’s “As Falls Wichita Falls” will still be played
somewhere in Detroit or Los Angeles
by a 20-year-old who has just discovered her heart
is a snow globe
dropped onto Ventura Blvd before rush hour.
It won’t have anything to do with you.
You will be dead
and Lyle Mays’ piano will drift in and out of the parked cars
for anyone who ever knew how to get undressed under the Missouri Sky
before the locust showed up.
Matthew Lippman’s collection Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful (2020) is published by Four Way Books. It was the recipient of the 2018 Levis Prize. His next collection, We Are Sleeping With Our Sneakers On, will be published by Four Way Books in 2024.