by Todd Mercer
Dusty Springfield singing Son of a Preacher Man
inside the clock radio, between queens
in a two-queen special at the Ramada.
The day began with idol-smashing, smoothed
to ritual, to sacraments. It sweetened.
She said Let’s come back
after ten years. Future talk
is healthy for you. Clean up
whatever you’re predisposed to
muck-up repeatedly. Stop
serial stupidity. Don’t rip
head-boards from their moorings
out of enthusiasm. The desk clerk,
that jaded atheist, will smirk
and add sixty-nine bucks and tax
to the MasterCard. Before they split
he over-tips the maid. It’s justice
for the muss left. Dusty wraps the song,
the one that makes this woman
in the future wonder
what became of a pastor’s son, the one
who reached her, here.