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dear radio


Kenyon College, '18
2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Recipient


/today the story of a boy
            and his revelatory revolver

/the pinball he took
            like a need to be swallowed

one night last March
            when the air spun with snow

and bent your signal
            at angles of terrible sound

/a single strand of frequency
            was all it took for him

to let a round off into his cortex
            /pained and thin as honeycomb

or moon mud. his parents say
            it wasn’t the sound

that woke them /but something
            in the air /invisibilia

/the hold you have on all of us

/can i say he sailed away
            in the golden hold

of a great ship filled with light?
            /is any vessel excuse enough

for the cargo the bullet made?
            /i don’t know

/i’ve been trying to write
            this story down for a long time

but no loose hands will tie together

/dear radio i’m asking for a lot
            /i’m prying for answers

/why didn’t you save him from revelation
            if not from the gun?

/i’m taking back all this time held
            hostage to your drag-race love

/i’m drawing perfect circles in the dark.



Ian Burnette is a student at Kenyon College and an Associate at The Kenyon Review. His work has appeared in The Forward Book of Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The 826 Quarterly, and elsewhere, and is forthcoming in plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing 2014. Last year, his poem "Harvests" was selected by Richie Hofmann as the runner-up for the 2014 Adroit Prize for Poetry. He lives in central Ohio.