Just for the Record

Heartbreak is

the drip drip drip of foreign origin

out of the corner of your ear as you

set down your backpack, home for lunch,

and discover upper neighbors’ plumbing

incompetence birthed a clogged sink

and leaky faucet- twins that soaked

through the ceiling, onto a beloved

milkcrate full of vinyl records.

It took years of concert attendances,

import shipping and handling fees,

and Christmas mornings with the

possibility of those thin, square boxes-

your collection now soggy, black saw slice through

frayed cardboard jackets, glossy insides

turned glue- the kissing images stuck,

leaves papery white splotches.

Collection marred forever.

Love is

the surprise of three brown rectangles

perched on the porch- your name completes

the address of packages you didn’t order.

Rush inside to tear stubborn tape,

reveal shiny shrinkwrapped jackets of

three new vinyl gems you’ve never seen-

can’t meet needle fast enough. Tears well

when the final box is emptied, you find

a slip that carries the name of your best friend,

a boy you sat next to the first day of fifth grade, who

made you feel first heartache at age fifteen, who

drove you to high school all senior year, who

spent visits drunk in your college dorm, who

you love.


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