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  • Keith Banner

Morning Glory and Midnight Sun

this one

is about debby

1976


bicentennial

runaway

from tennessee


to indiana

where she stayed

with us, mom's crazy-assed niece


trying to escape

what she had done

to her life


and then

of course debby's red-headed

husband


the one

she was running

from


followed 2 days later

tall skinny

mastermind and stalker


with a mother with

a major drinking

problem


so i guess he had

to have one

too


he could

work a room

though


lynyrd skynyrd

smile and that long bushy hair

pale with freckles all over the place


and debby

she was something

then too


double mascara

and lip gloss, tanning outside our screen-door

with crisco

laughing too loud at everything

but trying to be

serious too


like always

sharpening

her acting chops


what did her and paul get into

in florida anyway?

nobody knew


and my dad

before he fell into his own trap

working 2 jobs that same summer


resenting

the whole thing

esp paul


mom going to some

neighbor lady's house

to babysit during the day


it was like a tv show

had arrived any 11-year-old

would love it esp this one

the tension

the loud mouth

red-headed dude


holding onto

his teenaged

wife real tight


in a house where nothing

ever happened except

people trying to go to sleep and then trying to wake up


and eating

whatever there was

to eat

but paul

going on and on

about xmen


and robert mitchum

movies

midnight popcorn


and midnight special with

wolfman jack

introducing helen reddy


followed by secret loud sucking sounds

of love

in the living room


then one day

me and debby and paul

walk through the cornfield and next to the interstate

to k-mart

bored as hell

and we pick up the city bus there


go downtown

paul flipping through the newspaper he borrowed

from some old lady seated next to us


looking

for a movie

to see


debby in shorts

and haltertop

and paul in unbuttoned flannel shirt and cutoffs


and pre-teen me

just there

i forget what I had on


and paul yelled

real loud

a star is born!


which we checked out

downtown at some plush

musty theater


where an old guy

organist

still played a pipe organ


between showings

it was just us

vaulted ceiling and angels painted on it


streisand and kristofferson

love soft as

an easy chair


debby all into it

like she was seeing her future

like she was now able to see her own life


on a

huge screen

in this tragic small midwestern town


her own complicated emotions played out

by this famous lady

with a really crazy-looking afro


and paul

all kristoffersoned out anyway

with his hippie-catholic smile and dreamed-out eyes


the sun outside

the theater

was like hot bleach


i remember

debby's face

that afternoon as we walked back


to get the bus

how she seemed completely

stunned, her glossed-up lips shut tight


that movie

taking over who she was

for the two and half hours it shined


now she was

trying to remember

some of the words that were spoken


trying

to picture

that one last scene


where kris died

in a babs' arms

after the inevitable car crash


under a california

sky

thinking


debby thinking

that is

all there is


debby thinking

never forget

that



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