BROKEN JUKEBOXES HALF BURIED IN SAND
The beach is littered with them,
their front glass cases shattered
in spider-web designs, their colored
lights dark, most of their buttons jammed
tight, no F7 or B4 in working order.
A dollar hasn’t bought five songs
in decades and none of the forty-fives
spin and they all surely skip. The crowded
boardwalks and bars are empty now,
empty of everything but a million grains
of sand and dirty change, grimy quarters
and ghosts milling about with their pockets
pulled out like gray tongues, laundry day
for little children, nothing in their pants
and nothing left to hold on to, not even humming.
They’re as silent as the dead machines—
the only sound the tides, the tides against
rusting metal and stacks of cracked records.
John McDermott's poems have appeared in Big Muddy, Cold Mountain Review, Pif Magazine, Seneca Review, and Tar River Poetry.