OBLIVION: LETTER HOME
Thanks for the rubber glue and instruction book
with VHS video and stereo cassette about
reenacting famous battles in American history,
including Korea and Bhutan. Before
his death in Thailand, Dad had good things
to say about the plasticity of time
in the modern age. I never understood
why he would take the reel-to-reel recorder
I earned from selling Grit for sixteen dark years.
Why he put it in the freezer before
retreating to the backyard where men could burn
things with epithelial disregard.
Which reminds me. A burning thing pursued me
this morning for several miles.
You’d think there’d be a lot of noise.
Screaming. Wailing. Existential checks bouncing
like basketballs all over the place.
Me seriously losing my shit.
But it was quiet. My frayed breath
and the fire’s placid respiration
like the soundtrack to something minimalist.
Lars von Trier, if he took the burning stick from his ass.
I wanted to tell you about it
before I forgot. At night distant walls crumble.
You feel a thump through the earth.
I haven’t learned to ignore it
so I wake inside something horrid.
Industrial throat after industrial throat.
Once in the ruins of an outhouse.
Or what I thought was one,
though by now everything unburned is amazingly fouled.
And by this I mean
this is one gift even you
would confess is their mastery,
with your white gloves, ultra violet lights
and night-vision goggles
watching me shed my virginity.
I think about her a lot—
I can’t remember the color of her eyes.
A song was playing
on the radio by the window.
It was older than we would ever want to be.