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Anesthesia | small poet at large

small poet at large


the spa has a chrome soda fountain
glass case with shelves of penny candy
a rack of comic books creaks
the warped pine floor groans   crackles
I amble to the maple phone booth
rotary dial   dome light   cableless phone book
no label with directions for local or long distance
I flip my finger in forgotten circles      click-cl
ick-click      the digits to call my parents
I hear three buzzes then six then twelve then
hang up and let my fingers do the walking
Margo's number   again a dozen tones   no reply
I try Margo a second time and a third for luck
drum my fingernails against the molasses wood
kick the door below the glass   shoulder out
a few drops of rain thud against the spa's window
outside      a sudden flash of light   boom
the spa lights dim   blink   go cold      tapping
with my shoes   I feel the path back to the booth
Margo      my parents         I dial counting holes
flipping my finger to the metal bridge   no answer
Margo once more      I lean to the booth wall   sag
onto wooden slat      sit with receiver on ear
chin to chest      buzz-silence      buzz-silence…
the counting of heartbeats

Published in The Fat City Review
All rights reserved including copyright - Richard H. Fox 2013