116: Record Changer

Galaxy 2

116: Record Changer

Record Changer
by Adrian Matejka

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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.