as the line above this one clearly states.
It stands in the centre of a derelict stage,
squints out at you, then grins.
Any poem about Johnny Cash
must refer to black—black shirts, black hats—
to Johnny’s junkie days and redemption
with June, to “I didn’t do it, my truck did,
and it’s dead, so you can’t question it.”
Must allude to Johnny meeting with Richard
Nixon, and to Carlene Carter and
Roseanne Cash, plus Carlene marrying
Nick Lowe, and to “The Beast in Me”
(a song Nick wrote for Johnny),
to God and prisons and swinging nooses,
and a train pulling out of a station,
to Johnny’s cover of “Hurt,” and how
my dad saw himself in the mirror
the day before he died and he said,
“What’s happened to me?”
He said, “What’s happened to me?”
and sat back down on his bed.