When only outlaw country will do

I need the steel guitar
and a bitter, heavy beer
in a bar,

a place as sour smelling
as the feel of last night on the back
of my tongue. In the drag of the afternoon
he clicks the tape deck, nods,

recognizing a woman in need

for those bad, bad boys
to tell her, plain and plaintive cold
that the holes in their barely-there hearts

are their own god- damn fault.