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Monday, September 12, 2011


I tried to explain to my girls the concept of communication when I was their age. I told them that I would walk down the street to the drug store where the public pay phonebooth was to make a call to my girlfriend. I wanted privacy to talk about what ever was so important. You know...the land line in the kitchen did not stretch far enough away from curious ears. We laughed saying it was the 1980's cell phone. Maybe times have changed although I believe it is where you look to see how people communicate.

“Hello, hello. This is Romeo. Calling from a jackpot telephone.”
No Souvenirs by Melissa Etheridge

The Tenth Part

The metal accordion door closes; I’m breathing. I finger
the silver dime and drop it into the coin slot. Written directions
to make a call, our future connection is harder to read in the distance.

A melancholy dial tone, patience; she is truly there.
I hear the operator’s voice, sorry honey, a busy signal--
our human connection is twisted in the corded phone.

What once seemed a perfect balance, I hear, please try again.
Pay for who you talk to, leave behind regret and disappointment.
My past is trapped inside a phone booth of four transparent walls.

Standing solitary in a glass box of soaked emotion, phone
conversations carelessly coined and kissed, the plastic receiver is
feral in the ethereal night; the change clinks and time runs out.

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