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Aaron Samuels

Bluetooth Headset

I am en empty moon behind your ear
black and firm, like a locked treasure
and yet you bend me, press your lips near my mouth
but never touching—a childhood desire
a prom night fantasy.  I sometimes wonder,
if there is a dim room in a distant city
where a lonely woman pushes her hair around
a moon of her own,
and drowns her secrets into its reaching arm
but you and I, two machines bread for objectivity
we know the truth: that the universe is no bigger
than your damp face
and you have never spoken to anyone
but me.

Magic Cell Phone

Last night when I was sleeping,
I explained to my Grandmother what a cell phone was.
She was busy making soup and only half listening
but she wanted to know what this buzzing sound was
that kept humming in my clothes
I told her that in the future
where we live now, the sky is mostly filled with smoke,
and capitalism didn’t end like DuBois predicted in 1937
and instead we just built new cities on top of
all of the old cities with the inhabitants still inside
she assures me that is impossible, because
once Einstein invented the bomb,
there wasn’t enough time to get to the twenty first century
but I assured her that we had arrived and
now everyone had cell phones instead of pocket watches
she asked me why everyone needed them,
if the world was cold and crowded,
and I explained to her that they were small and bright
and that everyone I know is inside it,
that a cell phone is a small magic box
that holds everything that man knows about the universe up to
this point, and that I hold all of this knowledge
at my fingertips, and that sometimes
people use it to take pictures of their penis
and sometimes, people use it to scream
thoughts into the universe when no-one is listening
and she says she has no time for stupid magic
because she has soup to make, and the bomb is going to
explode any minute now, and she wants the soup to be ready
before there is no time left.

Aaron Samuels, raised in Providence, Rhode Island by a Jewish mother and a Black father, is a Cave Canem Fellow and a nationally acclaimed performer. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, featured on TV One’s Verses & Flow, and has appeared in many journals including Tidal Basin Review and Muzzle Magazine. His debut collection of poetry, Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps was released on Write Bloody Publishing in fall 2013. More information can be found at: