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.
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