> SAME STORM, DIFFERENT RIDERS | charlotte reynolds

When Jim Morrison beckoned us to
break on through to the other side
I was dating Ronnie and his guitar in some
sort of folk singing menage a trois.
We joined the SDS, and Ronnie made me
wear black a lot.
We drove up the hill every
weekend to talk politics and music
with Jack and Judy.
They laughed at me sitting up close
to their stereo with my ear to the speakers
so I could listen for those breathless, longed-for
moments when Morrison's voice took us
off this planet and into other dimensions.
I was never one to stick around this sphere
if another was more enticing, and
nothing, nothing was more alluring
than that call, that constant climb
that came out of Jim Morrison.
I wasn't quite foolish enough
to think he had all the answers, but melting
even for a little while into the path of his
weighted, wild, wailing, heartache
of a voice sure helped us forget
some of the misery of the questions.

Sometimes I think I have spent my life
with my ear pressed up close, listening
for some god or poet or leader or lover
to take me through to the other side, to break on
through to some vision, some magic, some correct
dosage, some enlightened word.

But then sometimes I fear they are right: that
Jim Morrison really is dead,
and that I will never again be able to
break on through to the other side.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Charlotte Reynolds teaches writing at Indiana University Southeast. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Handsel and Exponent II.