for the patron saints of youngstown

i worry for your bones
though they were never going to be buried on the chapel grounds

sinner man
who danced in the streets with heathen
a passion for percussion
have you been excommunicated

are you somewhere
in a ralph lauren straight jacket
did the religious right
side of your family
do a brother wrong

did it involve a prayer
or a laying on of hands

are you a pampered guest
all tied up for the day
at the electroshock spa

my hope is that you’ve stolen away
to idaho
or some other rebellious nowhere
singing along to your records
with no thought of anyone listening

to you burning your skin
while typing a methodical manifesto

one day a mahoning reservoir post card will arrive
authored in your unmistakable handwriting
i will know to read it in your voice

the sentiment will simply say

i was martyred in murder city
wish you were here
rock on

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