Everyone jokes about the crap
in the desk drawer. Let’s
Marie Kondo the home office
but not begin here, just yet. Look,
specimens of dead technology:
Microcassettes from a landline
answering machine, never played back
during these dissolving decades.
My mother’s rendition of
the ever-overplayed happy-birthday sonata
followed by her dulcet alto
delivering a few familiar words of love.
My father’s, too, though I forget
what-all he says.
But they tell me
the tapes will lose their magnetism
and the flakes of these charged voices
will disintegrate into the ignorant air.
I keep preserving them,
afraid of shaking them loose.
Nancy Keating has an MFA from Stony Brook University and teaches at Farmingdale State College. Her second volume of poetry, White Chick (2021), won the Antivenom Award from Elixir Press. A chapbook, The Patron Saints of Knitting, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.