Charles Rammelkamp


You know how sometimes a song lyric 
just enters your head, unprovoked,
like a visitor showing up unannounced?
This morning I heard Mick Jagger’s voice warn,
Drop your reds, drop your greens and blues.

A drug reference, of course,
reds Seconals, greens and blues barbiturates, 
downers, or so I’ve heard.
And I hid the speed inside my shoe.
“Sweet Virginia,” half a century old,
from the Exile on Main Street album,
a song from my college days
we listened to religiously, 
smoking dope in the dorm rooms.

And I remember the guy who sold drugs
from a locker in the student union,
bags of not-very-good marijuana,
a variety of pills in all the colors
of a Crayola crayon box.
Brian only lasted a semester,
flunked every class he’d registered for –
but never actually attended.
I wonder whatever became of him.

Got to scrape the shit right off your shoes.

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