The Best Button
“If I ventured in the slipstream/Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack/And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me? /Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down/In silence easy” --Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
I’ve been listening to the album, Astral Weeks for weeks now,
so much so that a friend calls and says, It really is turning into
Astral Months. And Bob writes to say that he’s been listening to
the same album for five years so maybe, I’m just getting started.
The way you think this could either go on forever, or stop now,
or how you find a safe place to lay down and before you get really
comfortable, you’re already nostalgic for here, already miss where
you just came to be. I’m just getting started on wanting things
to go on—eating past hunger, kissing past the point
of no return, swallowing the whole sky when you look up to
see the birds go by, thinking they’re angels, and here’re the clouds
again, and darkness past the point of regular behavioral glooms,
and it’s the spinning that’s so satisfying, though it’s no longer
on a record, it’s the way it asks nothing of me, or the way it
exists in another time, and it keeps giving me something,
the way most live people can’t keep giving, because it’s exhausting
and so hard to give all the time. And who am I to ask someone to
fill my singular, impossible need? Give me a little more here.
Wait, take it all back. It is the noise we’re making, that tree
making noise, this voice making a noise in my jeans, up in this
plane, where for three hours now, I’ve pushed repeat, repeat, repeat
and it’s become my favorite button, my favorite pet of an item.
So much so, that I’ll think I’ll use it more. At the end of the
slipstream’s whoosh of breath, I’m going to push it, push my
little button so the song comes on, this time louder,
this time, no one will lose their job, or have to go on broke and scared,
and this time, no one will get stuck on the other side of the world
dying and scared, and this time everyone will have button, a button
made out of blood cells that lives on tiny beats, a button that
looks like a heart, and we can walk around and push each other’s
buttons and these good buttons will be on the outside, and people
can see if our button needs pushing, will know just when to touch
us right here in the chest, to turn us on all over again.