Issue 3

Ashes and the Radio

 · Poetry

The words are falling down. The beagle upstairs 
has barked itself to a hush. “Rhapsody in Blue” on the radio, 
Gershwin playing Gershwin, and I thank the holy DJ
for silently answering a wish I never thought to wish.

His license is suspended for two days,
             and I will not drive him anywhere. 

Philadelphia was born with the same subway system
that it still has today. Nothing has changed. Benny Goodman
on clarinet, George behind the keys. I might be inventing
these people. The radio does that. 

If he were you, his car would work only in reverse, 
and he would drive backwards all the way here
from Fishtown with his heart stapled to his PA plates
in the back for when he parallel parks and accidentally

bumps the guy parked behind the spot he’s trying to fill.
“It’s a visual illustration,” he as you would say. “Of what?”
The words are falling all around, and he as you — 
because he is he as you and not him or you — 

would not 
            answer, no matter 
how hard I (me as me) would think to wish.


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