THE CARE AND USE OF THE TELEPHONE AS AN INSTRUMENT OF TORTURE
Yesterday I saw Him, in a
phone booth. He said he was calling this friend
of his, to tell her. That he loved her.
Missed her. Needed her.
Horribly. Like nails pulled
from yielding flesh. Like a slug of soured wine.
Like some triumphant laurel gone
sudden thorns and twigs. His ache
for her. To touch her. See her. Hear her
say the words to him, and say them back to her again.
Was like the keen edge, the razor tip
of a spear, sliding liquid,
between the third and fourth r
into the left lung. A wound
that bleeds and wheezes
almost words. He said,
she isn’t home,
a balloon of sad words.
He left a message,
heart sick, blood simple,
on her answering machine. An
hanging up, he said,
oh hell. Romance.