i speak through the radio to the shadow of a boy i vaguely knew in highschool

i learn that         the soundtrack to heaven is         less
Winehouse than windy city,                      less
Whitney than Houston skyline,
a mountain of concrete         blocking out the sun,
a sky ringing with dead stars,
the face         i once remembered         losing itself in applause.

and the metaphor is always          space.                     an echo
down the long hall                 we have come to call childhood.

you could be this too,              you say.         the soft whisper of reunion,
a hologram on the mainstage of         someone else’s encore set.
the empty bedroom or stadium         or ocean of lukewarm bathwater,
speakers vomiting and just out of reach.

then,         the lights too become a kind of performance.         a galaxy
of screens blinking back,                              surfing the internet
in search of a viral video that contains both laughter and autotune.
your smile immortalized on a limited edition vinyl that only plays static.

this is not a factory defect,         you say,         though we both wonder
about what it means to leave something on             and filling space.

this crumbling infrastructure of sound,        a vibration
of tension cables or heart strings
as the wind pushes through                                 an unlocked door
and                  into the broken homes of our memory.
the courage we have to call it music.

and i say:         the image of interstate         ribboned
around your floating form                                     is both
beautiful            and            worthy of a cover
not containing your rorschached face
or anything                the papers will later describe as a smash hit.

and the needle                       spins,                                  i imagine you there,
for a moment           alive           in the glare of         a passing windshield:
if not a                                   brief song,         an eternity
of glass.

About the Author

Lucas Peel likes the idea of strangers, vegetables, and defacing things in the name of art. He does not like vinegar, rules, or high places, though he is willing himself to at least understand the purpose of all three. One time Neil Hilborn told him that his poems were pretty. He currently lives in Aiea, Hawaii.