Katrina Vandenberg

Late night July, Minnesota,
John asleep on the glassed-in porch,
Bob Dylan quiet on a cassette
you made from an album
I got rid of soon after
you died.  Years later,
I regret giving up
your two boxes of vinyl,
which I loved.  Surely
they were too awkward,
too easily broken
for people who loved music
the way we did.  But tonight
I’m in the mood for ghosts,
for sounds we hated: pop,
scratch, hiss, the occasional
skip.  The curtains balloon;
I’ve got a beer; I’m struck
by guilt, watching you
from a place ten years away,
kneeling and cleaning each
with a velvet brush before
and after, tucking them in
their sleeves.  Understand,
I was still moving then.
The boxes were heavy.
If I had known
I would stop here
with a husband to help me
carry, and room—too late,
the college kids pick over
your black bones on Mass. Ave.,
we’ll meet again some day
on the avenue but still,
I want to hear it,
the needle hitting the end
of a side and playing silence
until the arm gives up,
pulls away.
Copyright © 2005 by Katrina Vandenberg. From Atlas. Reprinted with permission of Milkweed Editions.

Poems by This Author

Oarlock, Oar (Y, W, V, U, F) by Katrina Vandenberg
still I hail from smokestacks girders closed

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