Lee R. Tracy


The phone lines stretch out,
scraggly telephone pole arms
that hold hands across the night,
and they shake gently as the words
travel from pole to pole,
and the telephone poles,
rooted in desert breccia and swamp mire,
listen, forlorn, to the voices
passing through that talk of love
and list and sunsets over horizons
thousands of telephone poles away,
they stand, arms outstretched,
fingers groping straining fingers,
Unable to let go
with all the electricity surging through.

I hold the phone close to my ear
as I huddle in a ball
in the corner,
the fullest of full moons
shining in the open window--
it speaks , silent, of fertility
of millions of lovers entwined
under its light on beaches,
of cars parked on clifftops
with glittering city views,
in sweaty still-aired rooms
like this one,
and it speaks of loneliness.

I took out my tarot cards today,
and stared at the moon,
dogs howling,
crabs crawling in stagnant water,
beads of energy rising to the cold orb
floating above.
No dogs howl tonight,
and there is no water,
but I feel my body being
sucked dry as I talk to you
on the phone tonight
Your voice is distant
and I strain to hear you
as you speak of love, and loneliness
and the reasons you've made up
for your shattered life,
and all the reasons for your
world of jagged glass, your
dreams and humanity broken by
brutal boot-clad feet--
if it would have made them stay,
you would have taken their
boot-clad kicks anywhere they
wanted to kick,
and kissed them afterwards,
anywhere they wanted.

Playing therapist on the phone
as I'm rolled into a fetal ball,
trying to relive your life
and not be scarred myself--
it drains me,
and if I take my glasses off
and squint just right,
I can see my soul
sucked up through my pores,
in myriad little drops,
Rising silently to the
cold, impassive globe floating
unnaturally above my window.


The 2River View, 3_3 (Spring 1999)