I’m thinking of a number
between one and the end
of this calling card
burns through the conversation
I’ve worked out
ahead of time, wherein
I tell you about the glowworms
pocking the trees
like uranium-tinted acne scars,
the weaponed stars discharging
our secret narratives, the sudden
bark! of a dog stuck
in its dumb loop chasing fireflies.
I meant to tell you
my face slid off
in the earthquake.
I mean to tell you
anaphora’s the disease of the stutterer.
I meant to file a report, upon seeing
the second plane rise
from the mushroom cloud
that was Flight 93, but, too stoned
on the reflection of the rain
on the hood of the car, I penned
an ambiguous note which started
and ended with the line,
But nothing’s too anything. Standing in line
at the grocery store, I’ve spent
twenty minutes annotating
the smiles everyone’s
fit into, just for the simple pleasure
shopping can afford, and my debit card
offers nothing. So, what’s next?
More of the static
we’ve assimilated, as if it’s natural
to talk like emphysematic robots.
We do talk. Let me tell you about
the woman I talked to at the office
I found out I had worked in these past five years.
She hated, well, she didn’t care much
for her hometown, with its nailed down trees,
its children painted on the fences fencing
in nothing. That wind she blew out on
blew its vatic kiss at her every day,
and even now she puckers
when she walks past
an open window. But I’m dead
to her. What I mean is, I’ve kept
a picture of her in my wallet,
to remind me why the windows rattle.
Are you still listening? I heard you cough,
or heard my own cough, it’s just the delay.
I can’t keep straight
which country I’m in,
can you? My passport’s
robbing banks, has me on the run.
I don’t fingerprint well.
I’ve been talking for twenty minutes
and I know the connection’s
been dead for nineteen. Moths here
are ornery, and shaped like death, they appear
like twisted metal
as they spiral the light fixture.