Letter to the Bonnie 'Prince' Billy


In that inverted valley,

your clothes hung like a hero's.

I was skinny, sleeping with dogs,

running from house to house.

The kitchen boys were all hung over.

And the waitresses took turns crying

in a bathroom down the stairs.

You said if you found me thirsty,

you'd offer me a cigarette.

If ever I was hungry,

you might buy me a beer.


In that inverted valley,

what was the lesson you wanted to teach?

We had these children, Bonnie.

We caught these diseases.

We did these stupid things.

The menus were written in black and white,

But the thumbs stuck in the sides of all

the salads were moist and gray.


In that inverted valley, I woke early and took long showers.

The water was so hard that it washed nothing away.

Even hoarding coffee underneath my apron,

a restaurant employee before and after enlightenment,

so many bones predisposed to breaking,

I never believed it was a bad town, Bonnie.

Just that bad things happened to me there.


You pointed to a building.

Dark water dripped from its bricks

old letters faded into its façade like a memory.

You said it was so obviously built by humans.

At the time, that seemed to me a smart thing to say.

Now I wonder:  who else could have made it?

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked