1 poem

by Benjamin Niespodziany

Benjamin Niespodziany has had work published in Fairy Tale Review, Paper Darts, Hobart, and various others. He works the night shift in a library in Chicago.

Call Collect

I give you a call
but you're busy

 

making volcanoes
out of swamp products

 

and ketchup packets.
You call back

weeks later and I can't
reach the phone
                       
from my yoga position.
I let it go

to voicemail and you mention
how you're going to be

taking a trip soon.

You promise to call once

 

the plane lands. A few months pass

and I get a call from you
                       
half past midnight.
You're still on the flight.

You explain
jet fuel and wind

currents. I'm curling my hair
in the bathroom. I’m splashing

my feet in the tub.
I have you

on speakerphone
alone in my apartment.

I fall asleep listening
to your engine roar

 

like a twister

in a blender. I call you


one year later
but you're on a horse

track with maps and binoculars.
"An investment opportunity,"

 

you say. You promise

to call back once


the deal is finalized.
You tell me how

a horse’s mouth
takes up more space

than its brain, how
horses have the largest

eyes of any
land mammal.

I once heard horses

can’t vomit,

 

I say, but you

disconnect

 

the phone.

I hear beeps

 

and then for years

I hear nothing.


You call the next
decade and I'm in

an arranged
marriage. Never been

happier, never
been happier.

 

All this free time to talk

now and nothing to say.