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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



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.

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