I spent hours on the floor,
Cheek mashed against the Persian carpet,
Red wool, itchy in that way that felt alive,
The nap short and prickly under my palm.
My father’s speakers were made by him,
Waist high and triangular,
Corner speakers covered with nubby cloth,
Rough material and carpet,
I memorized everything.
Through the warp and weft,
Bessie Smith, Burl Ives, Gilbert & Sullivan,
The Music Man, Tom Leher, Louis Armstrong
Tit willow, be prepared, here kitty,
Empty bed blues, seventy-six trombones, moon river,
Living inside my father’s speakers,
My secret world pouring over me – sublime.

About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a queer butch San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran.
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