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Pareidolia as a Form of Contact (LGM-1)

It's an interesting problem—if one thinks
one may have detected life elsewhere . . .
    —Jocelyn Bell Burnell, on discovering the first radio pulsar

We heard the stars, as always, beckon.
A beacon, we reckoned, a reckoning like kids

caught eavesdropping. We opted in, rapt
in being wrapped by a border, bordering

on nothing but the span, space spread
like sand beneath the sea, the seabed bonding

the shores of every land. And, in short, we were
a larger we. Or broader, borders order an Other.

It was another way to weigh our loneliness.
Nestled in our nest, a new network was woken

up by a song on the radio. It rang doe-like, I mean
like "Doe" by the Breeders—I'll walk to where he's sitting

I mean doe-like like how each breath is a new wave
of a new way of feeling. I mean, like the deer,

we can call it Flower if we want to. Or Thumper.
Or we'll call it Little Green Men, while our hearts

thump doe-like, (thump) like a beacon, (thump)
like the hope in the pulse of a dial tone, (thump)

like our freshman fingers making that first first-date
phone call. (thump) Even if it did go to voice mail.

(thump) Even if it wasn't ever their number.

Zackary Medlin

The Cincinnati Review

Winter 2018

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