Billy Strayhorn, Ohio Was Just a Terrible Dream
Rest now. It was never real.
The factories are nothing more
than the mouths of horns. You dreamed
the man in the doorway. The slap
of his belt is an upright
bass. And what you took to be your
brother hanging in the cellar
is just a lady dancing. Let her
sway. The miners passing don’t know
your name, and they themselves
are just rhythm. Ohio,
some fool left staring at the bar.
“Billy Strayhorn, Ohio Was Just a Terrible Dream” is reprinted fromThe Last Time I saw Amelia Earhart (Persea Books, 2005).