By Brent Terry
I am not radio friendly. I am not frequency,
I mean frequently tuned-in,
seldom turned on, (no hummable hooks) but still
I broadcast my etudes my little ditties,
which may someday be received
by sensitive mechanisms. Pseudopodia will tap,
antennae will wave, and thus will I be big
on Alpha Centauri the way Night Ranger is big
in Japan. If I am buttons, the zeitgeist is a zipper:
efficient, sure, but bereft of anticipatory fumbling.
No sweaty palms. Her voice going suddenly husky
the tastiest kiss is the kiss stolen behind the drapes
at the party, lips devoured like canapés, the feasters
groping backlit on someone’s terrace where lightning
licks the last morsel of song from the throat
of the nightingale. Is it a love song - the note stuck
behind the refrigerator magnet, the note that says
the milk is rancid, Gladys, but the raspberries
are sweet. Is it still a love song
if she leaves for the market and never comes back,
everything you ever said to her lost,
spinning off into the galactic nevermore like slang,
already out of date where syllables coalesce
into a sloggy gibberish and stagger off to die
behind the fridge? Lightning licks shadows
shaped like kisses from my wall. Thunder mumbles
its incoherent odes, while the canary, bright
on her perch of flame, stands mute.
Across the alley a party flares dimly, inside me
singing. Somewhere far away a spaceman
starts tapping his feet.
Brent Terry is the author of two collections of poetry, yesnomaybe (Main Street Rag, 2001) and Wicked, Excellently (Custom Words, 2007).