Mudlark No. 56 (2015)

Long Dead, You Call

You claim it’s you. How can it be—prove it, then: say something just you could know.

Oh, that. Don’t bring up that. Nor that—all right, all right—it’s you. Now: why’d you call?

Slow down—one word at a time—it’s hard to hear, as if you’re at sea.

What’s that? Can I pull free? No. I like it here, though my kids are gone, though the sad days drop their silks, though my hands grow cold, my legs lumped, sore—here one can love, or try to love, or learn to learn to try to love.

Can you love, where you are? You claim you can, but don’t seem sure. I feel your want, your need, but something rings false in this tone of yours, sounds all wrong.

I do like to talk with you, though. Will you call back, ask the same things, in, oh, ten years? I think you’ll hear me then, but for now I have this cheap phone, these ties that bind—I myself have tied them, tie new ones still, and sing and weave them strong and close to bone.

Gerald Fleming | For M. S.
Contents | Mudlark No. 56 (2015)