the phone company
the empty phone # calls to say
"i love you" & i hang up & drive
to the nearest gas station
in search of a gift. buy three
dust-veiled peanut-butter eggs
& a pair of sun glasses.
at home i tie them to a blue balloon
& send them off to the telephone company
in the sky. i wait for the call again.
knit a sofa cover in the meantime
& try to imagine a mouth
on the other side of the line.
lips like hummingbird wing-beats.
talking too fast to hold onto.
"i love you" they has said &
why had i hung up. i was startled.
you wait for something so long
& then its arrival startles you.
in our houses, we are all waiting
for our phone call requests. some people
want to have long conversations
with grandmothers they don't have.
others want phone sex or to talk
with a long lost son. i just want
the "i love you" & that's as far
as i get. the sidewalk outside
appears almost walkable despite
the earth's warbling layers.
what i really want to say is
"come meet me. i keep a place set
at my table just for you."
it's true. i do. fork, knife,
plate, & glass of water.
i would make you whatever ration
you like best. i would tell you
whatever you wanted to know
about my phone habits.
we could give our secret to no one & then,
as you shift started over at the phone
you could just call me & we could
call for hours. you could just
breathe into the line. it would be
almost like freedom. call me again.
call me again please. the phone's quiet
is like a sleeping heart--
like a bird falling from a tree.
did you not want to love me too?
it could not have just been obligation.
i heard the leaning in your voice.
you wanted to come lay down
with me & never be lonely again.
you wanted to spill through the phone,
warm skin of your cheek pressed
to my cheek. i don't need to know
your name, i just need you to say
that again. please even just once.