Leaving unremarkable glassware
at the thrift store, I venture inevitably
to the electronics, sold “as is” which makes
me mistrust electronics with their cord
bundles, electrical outlets for testing.
Do they work? No they do not.
Here are twin speakers from Judy’s computer,
the wall of sound Sony speakers, too big
with too little sound. There is an AM/FM
receiver that I plug in, not knowing
whether speakers make no sound,
or the amplifier fails to amplify.
There is a boom box—a boom box!— a CD
player, technology that once gave us
hope, the blessing of eternal sound, clear
as truth and lasting, and they are here
their knobs and buttons, LED lights
and logos of lost potency, feeble things
in a present that brings words this close
to brittle trash. I do not want them, do not trust
they will give me satisfaction they meant
to give when they were made, entered
our homes, let us imagine they could give,
a drum like a dwarf appearing in the room,
a voice like cream in a blue cup, guitar tin,
piano bells, music, music. I cannot buy as is,
these notes toward failure I cannot return,
untuned lute, flies in the peonies and lemons
Victrola with the wasp nest near the needle,
a spinning globe full of moths and pupae,
cassette player with its mouth agape like an O,
a tangle of black cords and wood grain.