Leah Mueller

Two Tabs and the Dead

Blue VW van,
anachronistic for 1982.
Dane County Coliseum,
Grateful Dead.
I dropped acid with a few
of my co-op roommates.

Snow fell hard
as we screeched
into the parking lot
and lurched to a stop
between parallel lines.

Inside, we spiraled
in opposite directions,
propelled by lysergic motors
that showered sound
and set us to dancing.

A man named Robert
attached himself to me.
He’d lost his shoes
somewhere in the building,
but didn’t need them,
because he wanted
to walk outside barefoot.

The security guard
stopped us at the door
and said we weren’t
allowed to leave the premises.
He was ancient
and stoop-shouldered
and wore a lime-green,
three-piece polyester suit.

“Why can’t I go out?”
my friend demanded.

The guard shook his head
with regret, said
“It’s snowing, son,”
and then after a while,
“You don’t have any shoes on.”

His voice was gentle
and apologetic,
like he understood
our wish to go outside,
and felt bad, because
he couldn’t grant it.

Robert looked down
at his enormous, knobby feet
and nodded with
sudden understanding.

I stared at the guard,
noticed he had
a tiny cloth bumblebee
on his coat lapel.
The bee was smiling
and waving one of its legs.

“I like your sticker,” I said.
The guard looked pleased.
“You want one?” he asked.
“I have an entire roll
inside my pocket.”

He stuck in his hand,
pulled out a fat roll
of cloth bumblebee stickers,
extended it in my direction.
I chose one for my shirt.

“Thanks,” I said,
as Robert and I turned around
and headed back to the stage
for the second set.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s