(for Dan Sheehan)
You send me the song
Late at night
it arrives ghostlike
And (after a lifetime on the net
It’s still so awesome the way it arrives)
Connected, the icon
Reconstitutes, drops its burden
And funnels into my head
Like a poisonous little secret,
Making the headphones throb
Pumping the pleasure of its own heartbreak
Celebrating the climax
of a thousand emblematic betrayals.
It makes me sad
To imagine that you have reasons
These tired, despondent narratives
Very funny, I type to you
Clowning in Times New Roman
And assembling a funny digital face
From disordered punctuation,
Did you just send it to me
‘cos there’s a 7-11 in it and I‘m Indian?
That exchange lies like strain
Behind the blink,
The glint lighting my smile
a few months later
On my very first trip to a 7-11
(After a lifetime in this country)
We need milk,
It’s 9:30 p.m. on a Sunday in New Jersey--
And it’s manned, in self-fulfilling cliché,
By two shy Indian men
The blankly blond kid
Wears a rock-and-roll tee
With Gothic curlicues
Is funnier than
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