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Ode To The Mixtape; Winter's End by Heath Brougher

Ode to the Mixtape

In the eighties there were sacred nights

spent with a cassette birthing wastebaskets

full of crumpled papers

of possibilities. Remember,

it wasn’t only about the songs, but

their order was just as imperative

to translate feelings through music.

When the low-grade tape would occasionally rip,

sending static disharmony from the tape player

while supplying a plethora of nooses

for the listener to disentangle bit by bit.

The hours of reeling would begin

in earnest as spools were spun and respun,

and no matter the precision of the wasted time

spent fixing the discombobulation, the tape

would still be magically mangled

at the best part of every song.

Winter’s End

Springhouse springsforth bursting sudden Aprilair

to rescue the deadened Spirits from the dismally frozen

cotton skies of prison-colored clouds

made of wounded wicker and withered wisteria.

Not soon enough, plants and orioles awaken

and watch as the cinereous skies

are bleached in blue and boldly blonde

locks of life begin to begin. Pistols are removed

from foreheads and put back

into the hollowed-out bibles

from which they came. A tiny

portion of leverage and pressure plays

an enormous role in whether

a sapient and sensitive creature’s blood

continues to flow in its fleshy cage, or not.

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