Riding With Curtis Mayfield

When it rains during the summer here it seems a benediction, a blessing, like traveling with someone I’ve never met but seem to have known my whole life.

Riding With Curtis Mayfield

You there,
with your trembling horns,
guitar notes falling like a plank in my heart,
your clear-as-sky angel’s voice,
you there,
stop kicking holes in the floorboard.

Riding around with you,
Curtis Mayfield,
in this old truck that don’t even have a radio.

What are you doing here, you?

(I bang the dusty dashboard
and slap my knuckles against
the crack in the windshield.
Listen, you: the drums
and bass slap and crack, too.)

You, there, you still telling
people to get ready?
You were ready,
weren’t you?

(I’ll never be ready.)

I’m on this little island
and would be alone
in my old truck
on this little island
except for you there.
You, Curtis Mayfield.

Who needs a radio?

All Horns Allowed
Blow those horns


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