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Black on Black

by Patrick Theron Erickson

What would
pressed vinyl be

without its groove
and the needle
stuck in it

a sapphire needle
playing back
the same sad refrain
again and again?

How long play
can 33 1/3 RPM be

when we’re pressed
for time

our heart
the sapphire needle
stuck in its groove

playing back
the same sad refrain
again and again

and no retractable arm?


Patrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas—a Tree City, just south of Duck Creek—is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Cobalt Review, Literati Quarterly, Burningword Literary Journal and Grey Sparrow Journal, among other publications, and more recently in Right Hand Pointing, The Penwood Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Wilderness House Literary Review and Danse Macabre.

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