The radio ham of Planet X chances on W-EARTH, fine tunes reception as light from our ionosphere
wafts to his, becomes sound, an August day encoded— high school bands, thunder in Iowa, the star Sinatra
who emits Nice ‘n Easy through ectoplasmic waves. The Radio X-Man chomping on fireballs, chewing
his possible fingernails like a boy at matinee hearing who’s-on-first predicaments—Will Joltin’ Joe
and his Yankees cream the White Sox? Who wins War Number Two? What mushroom cloud swallows
Nagasaki? The alien crystal-gazes past lunar dust, monitors hissing black holes that roil with force-fields
of song, electro-magnetic tales. What Lone Ranger can unmask the chaos light years away? Find ultra-
high-resolution? The creature deactivates his remote, tiptoes to his sleepy mate. He sparks her auricles,
whispers, Honey, guess what I’ve just heard. It’s only a paper moon sailing over a cardboard sea.
Fran Markover lives in Ithaca, New York, where she works as psychotherapist. Her poems have been in journals including RATTLE, Runes, Cider Press Review, Calyx, JAMA, Red Wheelbarrow, and Karamu. She has won a recent Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award and a Constance Saltonstall residency for poetry.