Alex Foster Elegy By Jasen Sousa
Drift asleep with the TV on.
White noise. Actors and actresses recite
words that someone else wrote. Wrinkles that form
on facial temples and creep toward the cornea are scientific evidence
that it hurts to watch. Vibrations, humming, buzzing, and then
it shatters! A glass bottle filled
with the purest liquid mankind is capable of creating.
It freezes on the pavement during
a frigid January evening.
Drift asleep with the lights on.
White noise. Navigate through midnight
canals on an unsteady raft dimly
lit by translucent rays that sneak through manhole covers. Unfamiliar
friends stand on the outskirts of intelligence and imagination, snickering,
whispering directions to destinations
you do not wish to return to.
Drift asleep with the internet on.
White noise. Crowds watch you rest, listen
to you breathe and record the exact number
of seconds it takes for your chest to raise and lower.
Take gossip off the walls, place it into a blender,
pour the truth into a spray paint can
and tag the world with the most flamboyant font
it has ever witnessed.
Drift asleep with the radio on.
White noise. Let the lyrics put
you in a peaceful rest, but before they do
make sure you memorize the verse
about the single rim attached to a rusty backboard
that you can hang on all day without ever coming down,
the verse about the thinker and philosopher that left behind quotes
and ideas that didn’t get the opportunity to take shape,
and finally, the verse about the artist that left an unfinished charcoal sketch
containing countless interpretations
of what it means to be free.