116: Record Changer
by Adrian Matejka
To the left of the neighbors’ barbeque, variations
of the same house ringed by the same foliage—
adolescent bushes, their green tufts of low-lying sky.
Dads, red faced & bearded, in back someplace,
turning pure meat over hot coals. The record
player is inside, wood-boxed speakers propped
in the windows. To the right, across the still-seeded
yard, our two-story just as square & impeccable
as the rest. We want Prince but Rumours keeps
restarting itself: Now here you go again, you say.
One neighbor asks, Now, where did you come from
Again? & we say, California, like Fleetwood Mac.
& nobody asks anything else. & because nobody
hunts for dinner in the suburbs, we put down
our implements of half step & appetite, sidestep
the moon as it descends into a whole plateful
of charred thighs & wings. We collectivize
the back-in-the-days way as tenaciously as chicken
legs undress themselves at a cul-de-sac party, then
raise the stripped bones to history. Out here, there
isn’t any, so history is whatever we want it to be.
"Record Changer" from MAP TO THE STARS by Adrian Matejka. Copyright © 2017 by Adrian Matejka. Used by permission of Penguin.