unanswered phone calls

Location

maybe if we enjoyed the lullaby of empty

dial tones, we would fall asleep somewhere

amidst the clatter of unanswered phone calls.

 

there is a melancholy to be found in silence.

nothing but the static between our muted voices,

only the sterile hum of knowing you are

 

watching TV or driving or laughing or fishing

or out with friends or asleep somewhere.

love is not a limb; if it's lost, it will always grow back.

 

i am discarded bandages and surgical knives. 

you are an amputated arm. your phantom limb

haunts whenever i doubt your ghost.

 

i learned a trick to uncovering the scent of a hospital without

actually going to one. pick a beach on Lake Michigan and swim

to the point on the horizon where the clouds become water.

 

you will find me there and immediately recognize the smell

of emergency. do not be alarmed; love is no urgent matter.

again, we will hug a hospital bed with no way to pay the bills.

 

the best way to dance is to a soundless song.

remember: the silence. when i’m restless,

i memorize your all-too-familiar voicemail greeting.

 

in it, you say your name as if it weren't holy, but just

another word in the dictionary. i correct your pronunciation

over & over until you say it the way i do.

 

you've never been patient. too often,

your bones rattle from all that rush & shake.

 

i've always been wistful. too often,

i fall asleep to the sound of your absence.

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