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Letter Already Broadcast into Space

Jake Adam York - Letter Already Broadcast into Space -

Letter Already Broadcast into Space by Jake Adam York 
Your family, your friends, and your entire literary community in Denver loved you. Rest in peace.

Letter Already Broadcast into Space                            

by Jake Adam York (1972 – December 16, 2012)

To Sun Ra, from Earth

You are not here,

you are not here
in Birmingham,
where they keep your name,

not in Elmwood’s famous plots
or the monuments
of bronze or steel or the strew

of change in the fountain
where the firehoses sprayed.

In the furnaces,
in the interchange sprawl
that covers Tuxedo Junction,

in the shopping malls, I think,
they’ve forgotten you,

the broadcast towers, the barbecues,

the statue of the Roman god,
spiculum blotting out
part of the stars.

To get it dark enough,
I have to fold back
into the hills, into the trees

where my parents
planted me, where the TV
barely reaches and I drift

with my hand on the dial
of my father’s radio,

spinning, too, the tall antenna
he raised above the pines.

I have to stand at the base

of the galvanized
pole I can use as an azimuth
and plot you in.

The hunter’s belt is slung again,
and you are there

in the pulse, in the light of
Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka,

all your different names,

you are there
in all the rearrangements
of the stars.

Come down now,
come down again,

like the late fall light
into the mounds along the creek,

light that soaks like a flood
to show the Cherokee sitting upright
underground, light

like the fire they imply.

Come down now
into the crease the freight train
hits like a piano’s hammer

and make the granite hum

Come down now

as my hand slips from the dial,
tired again of looking
for the sound of another way

to say everything.

Come down now with your diction
and your dictionary.

Come down, Uncle, come down
and help me rise.

I have forgot my wings.

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