Finding Robert Zimmerman

It is late afternoon time; you are at me again—

I swear I never really knew Robert at all; I never
knew what he was all about.
I was every bit the lone hitchhiker on the highway
that never went anywhere; the stubborn patient
convinced of my own sanity.
But it doesn’t matter now; late in the afternoon you don’t believe me.
You still interrogate me
with pointed questions—poking, prodding—did I remember
anything about Robert? What plaid shirt was he wearing this time?
What kind of mustache served as his disguise?

Outside dusk comes quickly, but inside—

I sit here under the heat lamp, saying
over again, I never really knew Robert at all. I hopped trains
in search of him. I hid out in the spread
legs of the backcountry—I sipped the high and mighty
in Manhattan. I imagine that he had strong tan forearms but
I never touched them.

Longing to leave, frustration at the questions, finally—

Leave me alone, Man. Go ahead and stick your own thumb out,
stretch your own legs, and see what you find.
I’ve got a folk singer to meet and whiskey to drink,
in a club that was never open,
in a scene as elusive as an early morning dream.

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