Nothing Will Happen

By Jeff Tigchelaar

Don’t buy that, nothing will happen
I said to Johnny Cash
played by Joaquin Phoenix
early in that movie
when he was in Germany
when he was in the service
and saw some six-strings hanging in a store
and was like huhh guitars huh
and for some reason my wife cracked up
and had to press pause and use Kleenex
on her eyes and I thought
yes
because I hadn’t made or even heard
her laugh in a while

we were separated almost or mostly
her dad was dying plus Trump and Covid
then about an hour or so later (oh it’s a long one)
Johnny sees June
Carter alone in a diner
and figures what the heck
and starts heading over
and I figure what the heck and say
Don’t talk to her, nothing’ll happen
and my wife didn’t crack up like before
but she did laugh again
a real one not just courtesy
and I was like hell yes but of course
there’d be hard times
and there would be scenes
like the one where he rips
the sink from the wall
though it wasn’t in the script he just
summoned his rage up and did it somehow
and you can hear the gushing of the water off screen
as it all hits the ground
but an hour or so later in the credits
(toward the end but we stuck around)
the real June and Johnny start singing

and sing Maybe we can work this out
Oh honey I think we can


Jeff Tigchelaar is the author of Certain Streets at an Uncertain Hour (Woodley
Press, 2015), winner of the Kansas Authors Club Nelson Poetry Book Award.
His poems appear in AGNI, Beloit Poetry Journal, CutBank, Decomp, Descant,
Eleven Eleven, Fjords, Garbanzo, Harpur Palate, Hawaii Pacific Review, Heavy
Feather Review, Hunger Mountain Online, Hobart, I-70 Review, and Juked.

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