Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Communion with Cash and Rubin" by Dena Molen

Dena Molen stepped up to the Chance Operations open-mic on October 25.

The next Chance Operations reading will be Monday, November 22, at Duff's, 392 North Euclid, in the Central West End. Cover will be $3.00; doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Communion with Cash and Rubin *

Sunday morning Johnny Cash rattles
in my head, his train rollin' round the
bend, spittin' sparks of accepted
imperfections, wrapped in wayward black.

I find lightness in the black. Heavy-
Lightnes. My father scratches a
precise spot on his head. It's raw. He

"What's that scar from on
Johnny's face?" I sing. We sing
together, and it's better than church
by myself.

Years later I sing again, with Rick and
Johnny this time. A sacrament conjured
of my own, drunk by noon then sober
by six o'clock mass, and underestimated access
to redemption.

I'm managing the host of new life
in my palms, harnassed by these
contumacious cowboys, they're telling me
I'm not dead.

Their song becomes a tabernacle. A place
where honesty prevails over consideration.
Johnny rumbles: "Sin is a shy crack. You won't
fall through. Your soul has edges." My pessimism
faithfully insists: Not true.

Scratched and worn, Gospel fades out. The
record needle was lifted, my daddy's soul was not.
Still I hear the chicka-boom, chicka-boom and I
know the atheists are searching.

The sinners have faith, and Johnny's "Sweet
Chariot" carries me home, somewhere between
idealism and Buddhism. Tell the man in black
I'm a-coming his way.

-- Dena Molen

* This poem originally appeared in Bad Shoe #3, and is reprinted with permission.

No comments:

Post a Comment