A phone is ringing in the back of my head. When the little phone in my head plays your ringtone, I try to do a thing we did together: I read your poetry, I bash some drums, I scroll through teenage inboxes and marvel at the sheer volume of words we dedicated to the simple concept of “don’t give up, kid.” I told you that sometimes that I felt like a fault line, a jagged unstable rupture on the surface of the world doomed to buckle and buckle and burst and you said babe, go bash some drums. And I said I didn’t play the drums. And you said go bash the drums of whatever it is you do. So I am bashing the drums of some words right now and missing you hard and wondering if, when the earth finally swallows me, my phone will ring in anyone. And whether I’ll have told them anything that helped even half as much.
Casey Lucas is an author, poet, and video game developer who has twice won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Short Story, New Zealand’s highest honour in short form speculative literature.