for Chet Hicks

There are, of course,
all the jokes about its size.
The big brush joke.
The joke that ends,
“...the only place big enough to hold me.”

I sell it to my pals as a sort of nirvana,
where we ride cows to work,
and where women with big brown hair
scratch our backs with red fingernails.
(You were the only one ever to believe me.)

I think of you leaving the state and I think
about some kind of present.
Maybe a shot glass with Kennedy’s head and a target.
That’s how far I am willing to go today.

Your name will always remind me of music.
Of guitars and a dream about the desert.
We never went there, by the way,
although in my head, I always held it
like a little promise or reward.

I suppose that it is just hot and sandy,
no hamburgers for many miles,
not a decent fucking motel anywhere.

When the apartment on Kings Highway
filled with new people, I walked my dog
in the other direction.
In nameless bars, for the benefit of mean drunks,
I’d sometimes send some bad song your way.

I think about what happened to you,
and that Cort bass.

Pfefferle, W.T. “Texas,” South Carolina Review 36:1 (Fall 2003): 29.