JAKE ADAM YORK
Night's air tightens slowly, afternoon's
heat thinning with honeysuckle --
millions of trumpets of sun
dimmed and cool, quieting down.
The console hums through signoff,
through anthem. Then its silence gathers
elsewheres from the dark, voices
bent off blackbird chill
as city glow on approaching storm:
Buenosnoches -- so fast to travel so far
with its syllable freight, electric
as new constellations on moonless nights --
so strange and difficult to find
once the disc has risen, its face
a wide, unfinished vowel
that casts its drawl on everything.
Glyph for dry
for hope and
A column of answer
swept by heat.
For momentary, for half.
See suicide, like:
obliterated by emptiness.
Rain, and the end of.
child of gravity.
Stranger to the ground.
Because they lived near the signal
voltage purring like a church
before the preacher starts,
or because she's talking
in the very middle of the noise,
the doctor says to pray,
to radiate The Word of God into the boy
and recall each fallen cell
to the righteous body, but all he hears
is grandma's story, how at night,
if you hold your radio close
you can hear the dead whispering through.
She explains how her sisters
wired their mom's old Silvertone
after she had passed away,
braiding her hair in the speaker's leads.
She says that if he listens
he can hear her sisters arguing
over every static's peak, her mother
saying Time to go to bed.
She starts again.
In the distance someone's asking
why it won't stop hurting,
and the church is working like a round,
everyone trying to start
but all anyone can say
is what they've said before,
old stories, old prayers
all that's breaking through.