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John Bright

Robert Johnsonís Cigarette

Itís Robertís anger
that lit the tip,
burning brighter now
as he inhales the smoke,
turning the blues
into something else:
a pact with the devil,
a hell hound on his trail,
the lights on a locomotive;
the blue light fades into the darkness,
the red light persists,
becoming a flash
from the barrel of his 32-20.
Robert and the Devil
are walkiní side by side,
ready to cut you half in two,
to beat you till they get satisfied.
The anger flares up
like the lighting of a cigarette
in a film-noir, the flame
briefly illuminating the face.
Robertís old evil spirit
is catching a smoke,
leaning against the side of some roadhouse,
listening to the songs.
The lyrics hang out there
like the cigarette off his lip.
The only sign heís there in the night
is that glowing ember,
hot as burning hell,
as red as the light
that was his mind.

©2007 by John Bright

John Bright lives in Mid-Missouri. He takes classes at the University of Mo-Columbia, does some tutoring in Jefferson City , and generally hangs about the peripheries of academe.

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