Show Tune

By Robert Johansson


The red, the white, the blue—the glare not yet

emitted by the unlit Chevron sign.

As farmland blues dissolve in sunset haze,

his marquee flickers on. Life is but

a stage, and we ourselves decide our parts.


He sings his claim to fame: the needle and

its greed—the truth, and then whatever lies

beyond. He rose and fell on a truck stop

restroom floor. Cue the chorus of the night.


As engines idle and mosquitos buzz,

the airbrakes squeal and the compressors beat.

Red ambulance light washes over walls

of white concrete, and hands in latex blue

lose themselves in a frantic CPR dance.