Jacqueline Jones LaMon
Performing in the Aisle, Empty Except for One
He opens his mouth in the deep,
behind the concrete curtains, pulls
up the gutturals with serrated tongs.
No one wants to hear this kind
of pain and call it song. No one signs
up to witness a performance that lasts
an endless train ride long. This train spans
the system, Euclid to Uranus, the infinite
expanse. Put a coin in the Kangol if he sings
it on key, if your skin turns to feathers,
then molts between stops. In the next
car, you lean on the door, ever next
to exit. You think you’ve heard this song
before. You think you know this dissonance.
Wasn’t he the one who used to sing
with that group that had that one hit?
That one hit, then two, then something like
a string tied to a kite tail that fails to catch air.