an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Nancy Keating


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.