Arms Stuck Like Glue to My Sides by Daniel M. Shapiro

Our drummer clues us in to the classified: Band wanted to perform on space station for study of zero-gravity fingerings and poses. The powers make clones of us to entertain Earth. We will be able to watch ourselves via satellite, conspicuous in matching beach shirts and hats while the population bundles up. Amps and tom-toms cling to the floor our feet never touch. After floating in a box for days, we stop feeling the electrodes. We sleep with guitars grafted on belt buckles, wake when our cheeks brush the ceiling. Now we see ourselves dressed as frogmen on city streets. We wonder when the powers will show us holding hands with partners, dropping our kids off at school. One hundred million miles from our planet, the voice in the earpiece tells us to go to the foil-walled compartment. We will test the effects of heat on charisma. As we become transparent in an experiment of light, our Earth selves practice their next pratfalls.
*Title is a lyric from “Rip It Up” by Orange Juice (#8 on UK Singles Chart, 1983).


Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of the celebrity-centered poetry collection How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside, 2013) and several chapbooks, including Heavy Metal Fairy Tales (Throwback Books, forthcoming). He is a poetry editor with Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and he interviews poets online at Little Myths.