The dead don’t bivouac by the riverside.

I reckon love ain’t two fifths consolation,

but a pint of bastard light through the gut.

I reckon our dead congregate, reeling

past the pointy steeple of paradise.

Be my Oh Susanna, don’t you cry for—,

and I’ll be your banjo’s clawhammer strum.

We’ll mainline sawdust and speak, in shotgun,

the language of might coulds juked in the dark.

I love you like gingham loves knobby knees.

Love me like a holster loves a warm gun.

Let angels lead us away while the catfish  

are still in bloom and while we still reckon

some drunk mermaid’s hit us with her flipper.