Harmonica Rescue

If you find yourself at the bar alone

Sitting late for a quick beer

Before catching the train home

Surrounded by transparent young people,

Good-looking, but simple,

Half staring at their phones,

Half talking to each other,

Ignoring the aged drinkers, most stoned,

All unaware the digital impostor of a jukebox

Is silent, the TV turned down,

The incessant babble of the infantile

Like a rainstorm, the room’s only sound,

Play the Stones’ “Midnight Rambler,”

Live version. One dollar never goes farther.

Joe Samuel Starnes is a native southerner who has lived in the Philadelphia area for eleven years—five in Fishtown and the last six in Haddon Township, New Jersey. His novels are Red Dirt (2015); Fall Line (2011); and Calling (2005). He also has published poetry, short stories, essays, and journalism in publications as varied as the New York Times and the blogazine Fried Chicken and Coffee. His website is www.joesamuelstarnes.com