Academic journal article Shofar

Answering Machine

Academic journal article Shofar

Answering Machine

Article excerpt

We talked on the phone yesterday,

you in Berkeley, me

in the South Bay, always the bridges

between us.

Women's conversations.

Benjamin's engaged to be married.

They went to Vietnam

to meet her mother who won't come—

too many time zones for an old woman.

The poetry group convened on Sunday.

Sorry I couldn't be there,

I said, we had a wedding—friends

who've been together twenty years.

Christophe in fuchsia

socks and a lavaliere,

James more sedate.

Now they get health care in three countries.

You and Dave are off

to LA on Monday

to get your results. It's funny,

you said, how happy I feel—

one day at a time

or it might be the effect of the pills.

All winter I've been listening to you

repeat I can't come to the phone right now

I can't come to the phone

and leaving a message on your machine. …

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