Baby’s First Cell Phone
Fear in French


You stop me underneath the neon sign.
Hear that? You ask, and I am not the kind
of person, yet, who hears these things and smiles.
The hum, you say, plus there’s an orange fuzz
around the street lamps, where muggy air
is changing into mist. Now listen to the hum
and watch the bugs colliding in the light.
You’re making videos these days and this
must be the soundtrack to the Plaza Drug
on Highland Ave. You don’t make any sense
when talking about art but you make eye contact
and that’s enough. Hold my hand. Pretend
you don’t know where the sound is coming from.
It’s like the movie version of our life
where everyone’s the walking dead except
the two of us because we hear the soundtrack
all along and we’re invincible.
I wish I had a camera for every time
you turned the radio up on the interstate
and from that windy wasteland, springs bluegrass
and a t-shirt sleeve flapping from the trunk
of a beat up Honda, to beat the banjo,
at 70 miles per hour. See that? You ask.
But this is not an act, a tragedy
or comedy. We hear the soundtrack swell in
the produce aisle where chrome carts stutter to
Vivaldi or the Marshall Tucker Band.
You record the dogs as they dream and whine
while the percolator twitches on the countertop,
a tractor trailer guzzling to a halt as
an old man clears his throat, conjunto from
the neighbor’s yard while outside our window,
nandinas dance by the air compressor,
a twelve year old doing cartwheels in a leotard
with AC/DC from a background boombox,
and raindrops play piano on the asphalt.
You offer me these clippings like roses
from the yard, one at a time, before they burst.
But this not a gift. Just a soundtrack
at a given time, whether I am there or not.



Thank you, Hannah, for living in my details. I have sound tracks for you more often than you know. Your approach to this subject is nice and sublte. Please call me and we will discuss many details in a critique-like manner.

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