Notes on a Galvanometer

You are the abandoned, soundless radio of our past–
a mystery and contradiction.  Why the recent, twisted wires,
the modern plug that makes us feel as if we could, even now,
turn you on? You are too beautiful to be practical, with a quality
now reserved for Art and an idea that it was you who turned
your back on the modern world, its sad plastic gadgets.
But, oh! the cold heart of your Bell Transformer,
the stiff bronze knobs that no precise fingers adjust,
the hole in your hollow shell that nothing fits into and
the angled shards of glass that reflect only you, that can’t
vibrate to the pale, blankfaced meter repeating only one reading,
inaccurate… but, no: it reads its own unmoving silence, in
units of measurement we don’t understand,
somewhere on a still scale.



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