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I think I shall take you both to a concert
week after next; how does that sound?
We've been wanting to see Foreigner,
and I hear they're touring the States
this month before moving along
to Canada, or something like that.

I can't say I'm surprised by that
reflexive refusal. Disconcerted?
Absolutely, and it's been a damn long
time since I heard the sound
of your laughter. But this stasis
you're in... it's not foreign.

I remember how it was, us four in her
Subaru, belting Juke Box Hero so loud that
we came home hoarse, in such a state
of giddiness and vivid certainty
that nothing could top this: made of sound,
mind and body, lives bright if not yet long.

I miss her, too, you know. How long
has it been? Feels foreign, her
being gone, but ghosts hound
us all the same. Gone, yeah, like that.
But always here, voices in concert
with our thoughts, discontent with the state

she left us all in, a state
of matter half-frozen, half-longing,
all treading contradictory circles
around the idea of what-if. Foreign,
familiar, grief always feels like that
I think. Shut up; I know how I sound.

So tell me instead how this sounds:
we don't make plans. We make a statement.
Not... how it's been. She wouldn't have wanted that.
We don't sit and wait any longer.
She gave us chaos. She gave us Foreigner.
Put your fucking shoes on; we're going to a concert.

I mean it. Tonight. Concert. You two, me, and the sounds
of her absence, tense like fire in our frayed voices, static
and dynamic, lingering, because love feels like that, too.


Iron Noder 2018, 14/30

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