Airini Beautrais

The Valley of No Radio

The accordion’s reeds collapsed into static
as I crested the hill
into the Valley of No Radio.
I had been listening to the station of the dead:
the rock ‘n’ roll boys bending their beautiful guitars
a faded seductress batting her tambourine
someone, possibly my grandad, on the electric organ
with a sound like singing dust.
There are no ads on that station. No one speaks.
Between songs is a long pause.
I hadn’t found it before, I haven’t since.
The valley propped itself up on its elbows
the sun sucked out the patches of night.
All the frequencies in the air had been sucked out too
leaving a clean silence
and the fog around the village.

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