We created interference. With all the quick cuts, they couldn’t tell who was who. My memories, those times I swam in the ocean that burned, they mixed with hers, hours locked in the room where all she could do was read, read. We wrapped cardboard messages around our cerebra, fashioned guitars and violins from pool noodles, no frequencies necessary. When we thought too hard, we pantomimed hammers to heads, forgot all the recipes for hits. I was the one tasked with bleaching graffiti to the roots, designing the perfect move on, nothing to see here haircut. We dabbled in the narcotics that made our kidneys guffaw, expelled nursery school wallpaper, crass colors to sprinkle on ice cream. We dared them to Go ahead: Try to know what we’re thinking. I counted from four down to zero before thumbing cataracts in their electric eyes.
Title is a lyric from “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” by Information Society (#3 on Billboard Hot 100, 1988).
Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside press), Heavy Metal Fairy Tales (Throwback Books), and The 44th-Worst Album Ever (NAP Books). His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Word Riot; Barrelhouse; Menacing Hedge; Forklift, Ohio, and elsewhere. He is a poetry and reviews editor with Pittsburgh Poetry Review.