The radio stations wrestled like cave-things
dying to be heard. Deaf & eyeless, bright
shatterings of teeth locked like gear-work.
Knowing so well that to ever subside
was to never exist, so thrashing on for audience,
until the moment my shirtless father leaned
through the greenhouse heat of the idle
flatbed, & coaxed the Milwaukee Brewers
over decades of open lake. I will never
watch baseball on purpose. But even now,
when I am in a boredom as vast & blinkless
as a salt flat, I will listen: take my knife
& carve something from the shivering static,
whole innings grained & hazed, like a script
I cannot read. I will think of work.
The acres he tended with monkish clarity,
whole summers before our home was ever
raised. The berms, the stumps, the birches.
The rock-walled islands of crocus set to orbit
an unmade body. I will remember plunging
at dusk into water. The parked truck left
to batter the empty beach with its fracas
of AM faze, strange station-songs reeled
down to us from the edges of terrible space.
How I knew then every word must writhe
its own migration. That what is said does
not need to be heard, only believed
in with a certainty so sightless
it can only be historic.
Connor Yeck’s poetry has appeared in Best New Poets, Crab Orchard Review, Southern Poetry Review, Columbia Journal, and JuxtaProse, and has recently been long listed for the Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize. An MFA candidate at Western Michigan University, he works at New Issues Press and is a Poetry Editor at Third Coast.