I knew a cowboy in Texas named Bill.

I guess I wanted him as a Father.

But he was a loner. He wouldn’t drive

till after midnight. He liked empty roads.

This cowboy made moonshine

in the woods, kept a spiral notebook

in his khaki shirt pocket, read science fiction.

He said

We’re reachin’ out from inside. We know there

ain’t no real heaven. But maybe

that’s still where we’ll all end up––out there.

How we’ll be…

He wanted to know where West was

or he got nervous. He couldn’t handle

compliments or prosperity.

He liked without better.

This cowboy was brave,

and knew not to show it.

But this cowboy wanted

reassurance too.  He didn’t

want it from people.

He wanted it from the sky.




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