Locked in his bedroom with a collection of 45’s
songs too loud for his voice, always out of breath,
Artie rarely lasted to the chorus, bent over in a chair,
head between his knees, sucking air.
During a record change, he combed his thin
blond ducktails, admired his tough guy profile.
If not for his cleft palate, even with a heart
wild across his chest, he still might have sung
on a stage for hysterical girls.