no sex no drugs / boasts the YouTube comments, / no naked girls just 100% good
music— / I’m streaming a music video from that clean kiddie band I used to loop / and
that’s when I realize how much of my music is about Hell, nowadays. / How to get
there / how to get there fast. Music that I can’t mention during icebreaker breakouts
or / put on my little sisters’ playlists, / beats addictively bitter in my mouth; / it sounds
like underage drinking, / & more than a sip / if a song could inject mutiny into my blood.
I open Spotify to resurrect / myself from the fatigue of / ambiance: rely on the blast / to
bang against my ribs like rock queens bellowing / over bass. Their chant: heavy metal
CPR, / make me come back / alive. / When the music pans through my earbuds, my brain
sways; / rocketfuel rolling inside my temple, / one side weighted with sound—
Electrically kinesthetic / like virtual reality via sound waves, or / an overload craving,
like a tongue stretching towards / oversaturated Skittles. Like sugar and candy dye
melting into my spit. / Turning it colors like the backdrop of a superhero flick /
electropop and leitmotifs / until the opening scene blooms / behind my eyelids— /
I’m watching movies in my head again / but let me. Let me listen to my glitches
in peace / my film scores / my symphonic rock / my escapist playlist / my alternative
realities. / Let me down these earworm / electrolytes hoping to make the world holy. /
To make the world loud / enough to drown in & out; / loud enough even / to ignore.
About the Author
Caroline Dinh is a comp sci student who writes sometimes. She edits Backslash Lit and has work featured in Flash Point SF, Strange Horizons, and Pollux Journal. This fall, she will enter the University of Maryland with a major in Immersive Media Design.