THE PHONE RINGS

by Mike Soares


Voice tinted by cold circuits and distance.

Dad, are you there?
Dad, can you come get me?

Like flung shards.
Background silence heavy and recriminating.

Please, Daddy.

I raised him, dammit.
He’ll always be my baby.

Outside of myself I hear a guilty croak explaining.
Flapping wings casting icy waves.

He doesn’t remember now. Time has claimed the memory.
He’ll never see it torn from its chamber and suspended in front of me
                Angry and lacerated.
Hobbled.
Exposed.

I slide and slip through giants’ hands.
A desperate little boy’s voice follows me as Purgatory retreats.

In the end I was right. The good guys won. We look back and laugh and clasp and the
good times are finally here. It runs freely. And the hard part in his eye, he thinks hidden.
Dark ice.
Recessed.

Daddy, she’s angry and I’m afraid.

On this day I am a face upturned and frozen.
Trod upon in an eternal lake.
Suspended.
Muted.

As I retch, the evening’s consolation burns through my nose and mouth. Maybe,
someday, he’ll understand. The phone clicks with splintering of distressed ice.

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