• Lover's Eye Press

A Poem by Dakota Alexander

We Exist in the Static

(after Hieu Minh Nguyen)


My love drafts escape plans across oceans

to meet. We exist in negative space

of adventure, doomed to dwell in the static

of separate countries. Our lives stake out frontiered

dead zone jobs and depleted travel dreams,


but she mails love letters to me with potential flights

scribbled in the margins and plots our futures

on one map. When she speaks, I follow

cell tower networks from my studio apartment

confines in Tennessee to the seaswept commotion swallowed


by the culture of her landlocked hometown in Turkey.

We daydream through our harbored nights.

I ask when we will first step off the shore and meet;

she switches subjects to something she deems safe.

We skip our desires across the darkened waters,


skim the surface and try not to sink.

I scroll through flights instead of sleeping,

imagine her curled next to me

and text her refuge promises

throughout our endless days.


She goes out with friends,

celebrates another engagement,

and drinks to forcefade her fear

that she will not find her own bliss–

that Ankara will drown her


in lights reflecting on Susuz Lake.

After hours of tipsy gossip circles

spent sending furtive flirtations

to my messenger, she admits our shared worries first:

I’m afraid you’ll change your mind when we meet.


The words sink the atmosphere between us.

We lie in our beds on a video call

and listen to her music. The longing

in the singer’s tone doesn’t need translation.

My love’s voice wavers melodies along with him,


words soft as a security blanket

wrapping around the moment.

She translates the lyrics for me,

tells me someday I’ll understand

without her


narrating.

We promise our lives to each other,

plan our futures under the same sky

and murmur our vows to the invisible

crumpled ticket destinies clutched to our chests.


She asks me to stay on the line until she surrenders

to sleep. In our lives of disappointments,

uncertainties, and too many time zone

separations, it's the only way we feel safe.

 

Dakota Alexander (he/him) is a transmasc individual living in the Southeastern United States with his cats, Kei and Shou, and his dog, Replay. When he isn't working, he is usually found writing, fanboying over kpop or mid-2000s emo/scene music (it wasn’t a phase!), or attending concerts. He has previously been published with Sledgehammer Lit.

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