Drinking coffee, have to stay awake and think of you
Aching awfully, knowing my perceptions aren’t true
If you were what I’ve made you, not as your acts betrayed you
How could I keep away?
But things still lead me on, a word and then it’s gone
What lives here and what’s stray?
Tell me please, what’s signal and what’s noise?
Interference, or is that the broadcast that I’ve got?
Your appearance renders me incapable of thought
Here’s your voice on the phone, your sweet and sullen tone
What am I to believe?
Did you blow me a kiss, or was that just tape hiss?
When I hang up, will you grieve?
Have pity, now, what’s signal and what’s noise?
Here’s your photo, I found it cleaning out my bottom drawer
When you wrote, oh, I couldn’t keep from wondering what for
Through the gray, through the grain, a picture taken in the rain
That doesn’t show your face
Connected dots don’t make a line, you confuse me every time
Confusion has its place
But just this once
What’s signal and what’s noise?
© 1988 Emma Bull