Janet Reed Into the Night Through Open Windows

Butterflies are free to fly, fly away, high away, bye, bye. Elton John

On the nights I blew the smoke

of Virginia Slims at the moon,

I wished it would choke the men

who thought they owned it.

Nights I slipped through

open windows, I found my Jesus

in fruit jars juiced red

with Strawberry Hill,

swooning under the orange haze

of dappled lights in empty lots

to Elton on eight-tracks.

The hook of a riff, a lick of longing,

the taste of too-sweet booze,

and a long drag of you’ve come

a long way, baby, lifted me

from my Father’s house.

I was sixteen,

carousing with strangers,

leaning into open car windows,

singing my hymn of praise:

someone saved my life tonight.


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