7/11, pinned under fluorescent bulbs that burn his eyes, dipping his skin in harsh yellow light, casting a glow upon stained canines, spoiled-milk teeth covered in nicotine, hidden behind the chapped ring of his lips, brown and pink, unkissed and bound shut

greasy wisps of hair clinging to the plane of a creased forehead, waning darkness, two crescent moons branded upon the delicate skin where eyelashes stand to meet red-rimmed sclera, a tired gaze that makes his teachers worry, but he sleeps just fine ma’am, honest, and he grabs a bottle of tylenol

‘cuz the cashiers leaned their arms on the sticky countertop, waiting for the other shoe to drop, for him to lift something into the pocket of his two-sizes-too-big jeans with the holes scraped through the knees from the pavement and gravel

but he’s not a thief–he pays without spilling one syllable from his mouth, tearing the seal under the cap, shaking out two chalky pills to swallow dry, willing away the migraine that greets him every morning, pounding aching breaking, almost stomping out his thoughts

a choir of rhapsodical cognition, rocketing along, a comet in an orbit that simply doesn’t stop, that brought him home D minuses to hide from his mom, on pages where letters swim and slip away from his grasp as if they are the celestial bodies ever moving and spinning

encircled by fog that makes his hair raise, on arms outstretched to that endless sky over his box of a home, where he still doesn’t speak, where he steals through his bedroom window onto the roof instead of lifting lighters from the 7/11–he only did so once, and they never let him forget it–stumbles across shingles until he can lie atop them, his socks dangling over the gutter

where eyes do not look upon him and cast judgment, where the stars eclipse his vision, softened by light pollution, sees cosmic dust swirling into clusters of dirt road and streetlights and mobile homes and he can see nothing but the boundless stellar system that calls so incessantly

and the stars kiss him even when no one else will


Golden Record: Mini LP 3 Track Limited Edition Version (AC +79 3888 Star Only)

Track 1: voicemail

your words are the first thing on the record.
it seizes even the static and the hushed

dial tone before the click, caught beyond
the reaches of all our finest technology:

can’t get to the phone right now,
I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Track 2: wish you were here by pink floyd, 1975

There’s a shrill humming in the air that says
the days have gotten long, swimming in blue,

the only time we see a cloudless sky.
I could never learn to whistle like you,

so the cicadas chirp for us instead,
piercing and constant, crying to be heard.

Track 3: storm

I’ve wondered whether or not space has storms
too many times to count–absent-minded,

always forgetting that up there, lightning
flashes without heavy claps of thunder.

you said rain makes each house into a bed,
encased in a tent of sheets and blankets.

this is the last track on the record
so all may feel rain’s devoted embrace