THE EMAIL IN THE SKY KEEPS ON SENDING
In small bars by the sea where the just-clocked-out
down entire pints before firing them off in blasts,
and under overpasses where late night revelers
linger releasing them like dirigible lilies into rain,
and on the corner, at the store, in the strip mall
emails are flicking off like fleas from a floppy
dog except the dog is the entire earth and the fleas
are angels. I know the taste, yes, of emails escaping
from bubbles in ice cubes cracking open as bourbon
rushes over, and the smell, yes, of emails hanging
in the air after street sweepers gobble up the confetti
from gutters at dawn. I’ve stood in line at port-o-potties
after a chili-dog and bear claw composing emails
on my phone, thinking, I need this job, I need this job,
please let them get back to me. Ah, times like that,
when the moon hangs on a subject line that won’t
appear, you can almost hear the servers humming
in San Francisco, the windows opening in New York,
and in Los Angeles the jacaranda petals tumbling
down the shoulders of managers who smoke cigs
and hit reply. That’s why I know the email in the sky
keeps on sending. For clawing fast as wifi laps
the air, the word made wave can find you anywhere.
Wherever I am. Whenever I want. So here it is panting
on your screen, my heart fileted in its needly teeth.
I want to know what spirit animal
lurks beneath my fingers when I glide
them over the smartphone screen
to check the feed.
Raccoon or cat?
Elk or eel? And when at night
it quivers on to wake me up is it
my skin it wants to feel? Or the touch
of a higher machine?
I used to dream
of rivers, moneygreen, rigged to run
backward. And on a tourist boat I stood
among the skyscrapers. What did I know
about being a friend? What did I know
I took pictures
of everyone I knew and dumped them
through the surface
of the screen.
Their bodies are floating up.
Their faces are pressed against the glass.
WYATT MCMURRY holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Bird’s Thumb, Moon City Review, and elsewhere. He’s currently working as an English language teacher at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Lyon, France.