The 2River View 27.1 (Fall 2022)

Andrew Cox


The Drummer

Did not know how to play when she picked up the sticks but what she played made her the only daughter. Hailstorms came with each strike of the bass drum and when the hi hat made its presence known she was ten and no longer in her father’s arms Then the snare took over and it snowed and the animals came to her in her fifteen year-old sleep. When the tom toms said hello the snow melted and she was twenty years beyond learning to ride a bike. Thunderstorms were delayed when the crash cymbal signaled it was time for motherhood and the jack-in-the-box that will let out its surprise. Both the splash and ride cymbals waited for the only daughter to survive the hurricane in her chest. Then she struck them as if to say dangerous weather will come but it does not matter I will keep playing my drums.


My dad taps me on the shoulder and says son this is a world that uses tear gas. Don’t be alarmed. I know I’m dead but need to see you on occasion. Need to tell you how this is a world that perpetuates conversion therapy as if the wind in the trees agrees. Don’t shiver. I know on my last birthday I would have been 96. I need you to understand a Fender guitar should play on the soundtrack of my visits. And there will be a choir. Don’t shrink from this world. I would have you kiss the word world on the cheek. To know though many try to co-opt it they can’t. It is immense. It sends such beauty that the birds cannot shut up about it. Now a harp joins in and the jam is the air you breathe. Fear not son. I will be back. In the meantime turn the world upside down and shake the evil from its pockets.

Andrew Cox is the author of The Equation That Explains Everything (BlazeVOX [Books] 2010); two chapbooks here at 2River: Fortune Cookies (2009) and This False Compare (2020); and the hypertext chapbook Company X (Word Virtual, 2000). He edits UCity Review.

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