The Day Sophie Died
All’s too early and also my fault.
I’m the PM of your WiFi waiting for all five
lights to glow green. Sophie died climbing
to see the full moon in beautiful Athens,
a city I’ve never been to but would like to
once this is all over. As I sat cross-fingered
for a stable connection, I thought of Frank
O’Hara’s we love you get up and I know
it’s not the right one, that I’m mixing two up.
The ethernet slides in like a bug.
When I get the go-ahead I’ll dive deep
into the ocean to perform my newest feelings
bar the one I kill in error.
I think we love you get down and rip cables out,
cursing the broad disc, and as I wield its antenna
like a confident dog figuring out the mechanics
of a doorway, I’ll think we love you reach further
or we love you go up and enjoy the so bright
I blindly believe in the power of the numerous to commit
to a silence not even gravity’s mortal hum can fix.
This vehicle is alive, rolling through reset streets
I conjure constantly in dreams as impersonal dimensions
of earth and sky uplift the pinch of the trapped nerve
in my neck until my arm retrieves its feeling.
Two acrobats slide by me, rehearsing lines for royalty.
Divorcees toss peels for rats. Some places are hardwired
to be reached again. Dumped by scaffolding, a one-armed bandit
takes my cash as a man on a balcony shouts at me.
I duck into a shop for a toothbrush. I have a toothbrush at home.
The spectre of load-bearing was once heavy
as I lapped clueless streets. It all comes out in peculiar ways;
I still know the way back, but visit only here and there.
Jake Reynolds is a poet from Lincoln. He is a PhD student at the University of East Anglia. His research concerns the first-person plural, the later works of John Ashbery, and populist rhetoric.