Born sheltered under country,
opera for a roof, walled in by popular crooners
on a street where Lawrence Welk might live.
Only dug the classical wing of that house
now and then. I preferred to take that
small: string quartets, solo guitar.
Later, rock music compacted me,
helped me fit better into tight rooms
full of other people.
Later, I felt funk as earthquake
cracking a back wall I thought
would be too thick to fall. I was wrong.
Jazz, though: jazz kicked open a locked door
in a stone wall in the little rock room,
got me past the classics to the open air.
I had to leave the house I grew up in
to grow up. It took flamenco palmas
to lock the door behind me, Afrobeat
to help me turn the corner
into the broad boulevard
headed out of town;
there has been so much more since
I cannot name. I’ve lived
in so many places since then
that I can listen to anything now
and not go home again because
I know so much of what the world looks like.
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