The phone rings. I answer. It’s always disappointment.
It’s always death, responsibility or my ex-wife calling to ask
if she can have half of the Christmas decorations.
I briefly contemplate my marital assets. The phone rings.
I hurry to it, thinking I won’t answer it this time.
I am sick of receiving.
I reach for it anyway to let myself down.
I say hello, consider confessing my love,
imagine me and this inevitable burden
driving away in a cream-colored Cadillac,
fleeing the scene of something to be determined.
This incessant communication keeps me from
loneliness, I justify it that way. The phone rings
as I take a bite of a black forest cake, the
cherry rolls off my fork and onto the floor.
Damn, I wish I had Caller ID,
I wish I had witness protection.
I tug the phone cord out of the wall,
it lands beside the cherry.
Stretched between relief and guilt,
eating my fingernails, I think about
burying the phone in the yard beside
my niece’s hamster-in-a-shoebox.
My cell phone rings. I am furious,
I answer it without looking, say only “What?”
I hear nothing but my own feet stamping.
All calls are coming from inside the house.
Taken aback, I scurry to the car, drive to BestBuy,
charge three new phones to my credit card.
All day long, they call each other.
I tell no one and no one asks.