A Rhythmic Arrhythmia

By Rachel Dohner for Retrograde 1.3

Miss them like a sixth grade haircut, miss

the rainbow shimmer of data,

the way cases could never open quietly, my dad

used to make mixes for all my birthdays.

They spun so rhythmically. Jumped over scratches with warped grace like

skipping heartbeats

do you

remember when music could break?

do you remember

when the iTunes icon bobbed lazily,

compact disc dancing,

pixelated and low-fi,

an emblem of 2003?


a weekend a weekend ago I went to a party

stuffed with CD cases and my dad said,

"if you digitized these they'd take up less space" and 

I imagine 10 years from now there when there will

just be empty shelves and kids will imagine

with round eyes and stretching laughter a

time when songs took up space.


a time when they had weight,

when there needed to be storage when they 

were heavier than pixels dancing on a screen.


What a foreign concept.


saturdays were CDs:

packed tightly into boxes I

always cringed when I saw shards of 

purple plastic on the sidewalk; like

the song had shattered but 

I could never imagine one breaking.

I remember:

the backseat with childproof windows,

they never rolled down all the way,

never let all the air in, but the 

wind still drowned me out when I

told my brother that CDs would never get old.


I never bought them,

can't remember anyone ever buying them but they

were always there in piles, somehow, appearing messily. I 

never liked them but I miss them now.

1.3Retrograde Corachel dohner