wave of song

Jill Kitchen

for johnette napolitano

the moon exhales full across the sleeping mojave where you still need 
a jacket in these april winds where starlight trembles above the constellation 
of palm springs & the far-off glow of los angeles across this bloom of desert 
across a wave of song so fierce so full of flame that could only come from 
a woman almost 60 with more street smarts than anyone having toured 
this entire spin of globe as a singer in a band in a world of men having given up 
her city life to live in an airstream trailer in the desert with only a hot plate her dogs 
a white horse her bass guitar & her voice oh that voice the raw edge of it soaring 
high in spring gale carrying with it ancient dust & the sudden sky pulse of light
from the nearby air force base or maybe from the unknown further above 
holding hints of coyotes calling to each other out against the strange rocky shapes 
formed from wind & time & nudges of human hands & hopes & you are held somehow 
lifted by that spell of a voice back into who you were meant to be if only for
a moment before you follow the back & forth pull of highway across continent
switching cities like pairs of boots while your own voice rises clear out of car window 
scattering invisible stars across landscape