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Dear Casey Kasem. The body chocolates

rims itself in melt. This does not matter. You have made voice the only magic. the only way to cast a spell. Maybe that’s why I’m bored with witches. with someone else’s potion. parceling what I can and cannot quell. I have learned the body. is the only lure worth my want. that desire is based. in shape not tenor or bass. But there is tooth in tenor. There is ass in bass. Flesh is an avenue. yes. Maybe it’s Polaris. Maybe it’s bright enough to guide us. But it’s not the only way. Nothing about a tangle of auburn. about a windmill of nostrils. could uproot me like the brute soothe and sage. of you coming. across a radio wave. decibeled and raw leaving. nothing to erase.

Dear Casey Kasem. I grew up wanting

to be a mirage. to resist. the grip swifter than batter. to shimmer as much as the ever after. I feel everything. It’s not a curse but a cactus. lush with thorn with sun-gather. And isn’t this just how you planned it. A woman’s wrist lashed. to the cordless. the hover of a finger. daisied by possibility. by a chance you’ll answer. not sober not aproned not given. to patience. her spatula storming the dough. There must be a quiver. when you call her the eighteenth caller. a collapse of breath unique as routine. But with me it’s all squeak. all clamor-of-wine cooler as I stutter your name. as if my lips have never worn it. as if language is finally ugly and only teeth will rake its grave. Oh uvula oh Tarzan’d vine oh pendulum surely. there is a wisp I can climb. a thread thick and uterine. that will lob me closer to you. to that sound-proof booth. I promise to take. no space. just time.

Dear Casey Kasem. I hate men

who compare vaginas to envelopes. as if their sole purpose is delivery. as if their hold is temporary. Even as men fawn for their phlegm. beg them to ferment their children. we still equate pussy with the Pony Express. Say you believe. in the vulva. in its rights. to a runway of its own. to an eyelid. which can close. The truth is I am nothing. but fingers chapped. after the bliss of a bath. Trying to make sense of oxygen. to swell back. When have you ever had to fight to feel. the plush of your skin. to accept you’ve gone slack. I call your station. butt up. against a busy tone. I turn on. your station. and forget you were. the culprit. the loneliness. and I am cattled. and I am home.

Dear Casey Kasem. I know my body

is rebellion not religion. but I want to make a thing. time cannot imprison. Life is out of the question. yet what else will get God’s attention. My son suggests. “A Nerf soft Jesus”. air-tossed and neon. At first I reject his idea. since eventually we all realize. smooth is a lie. but the eternal squirm of foam just feels right. I mean if god were a girl. He’d clearly be Sporty Spice. Stadium on stadium shook by the glam. of His thighs. Adidas-lush by day. Chanteuse-suave by night. As a DJ sure. you’ve heard this before. but I like that my son accepts the tuliped and the holy. that his God relishes effigies which outlast. landfills which outlast. centuries as if. man-made is another way to say harmony. as if. even when we break. the sticky wow of it. we always re-slick the conglomerate. Mr. Kasem. tell me how to be a shadow. the only adhesive. the only grip. which always latches. never quits.

Dear Casey Kasem. Some of us have never heard

a busy tone. I ogle this absence. fix it. in my sites. BAM. BAM. BAM. the buckshot of a land. line every individual. available as apple pie. Do you like it. a life so public. your mouth pimpled with silver. steps the ledge. to a carnival ride. Does the bustle feel so fucking right. The post-modern- whirl-splash city. itself in your eyes. Fan-swabbed do you stumble. past this letter. unsure why I write. when there are so many ways. to amplify. so many instruments meant to glint. louder to out gloss the whisper. some of us needed to survive.

image: Kristi Stout