After watching a YouTube clip
of another 30 seconds of blank screen
while some MTV employee inserts the next tape
into the VCR, I wish I could remember where was I
when that montage of the Columbia launching
and Apollo 11 moon landing flashed by
in the blink of an eye.
Before “Video Killed the Radio Star” aired.
Before riding in the back seat
along the Pennsylvania Turnpike
heading east from Cleveland to Cape May.
Before college. Before everything changed—
not for the first time, or the last.
It was the 12-year-old daughter
of a university president who introduced me
to something new for the planet Earth
those nights I babysat her
in an old mausoleum
of a house in early 1983.
After watching Michael Jackson moonwalk.
Before a were-cat interrupts
a chorus of crickets in the dark.
After watching Prince do the splits.
Years before watching a subwoofer pulsate
in black and white on 120 Minutes.
Somebody give that boy an ashtray.
Why can’t you treat that speaker
with more respect—whoever you are?