Evie Shockley

Nashville / Tennessee / United States


My father: younger, handsome, downright square,
eyes like brown buttons fastening his face
over his soul, mouth not too straight to swear,
to say, man, sonny stitt's ass trashed the place,

hymning his saxophonist small-g god,
enlisted arms push-up strong, lips curled less
and less around cigarettes (in an odd
reversal of what the army did best:

march men to foul habits) and more around
his mouthpiece, in search of pure embouchure:
not square: hell-bent on welling a full sound
from his horn: a liquid literature

with biblical phrasing, an interlude
of stimulants unchemical to blood.
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