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
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.