This morning I made the discovery that my mom's phone number is still in my cellphone's contact list.
At the tone
I had a picture of what this might look like
for anyone other than me.
Body curling like a baby
hen furled in the belly of an egg
waiting to be born--
birth would be a ringing,
the hum and click of connect, then death,
on the other end of the line that remind us
we have indeed reached
the end of the line.
Soft breaths soaked into pillow fibers--
a whole world of feathers gathering air and expanding
for a moment before dormancy
settled back in.
A voice heavy as cream on the other end
answering, "I am only going to tell you this once.
Do not call this number again."
An endless dial tone.
As it turned out, the voice on the line
was not yours--the sound of a stranger
telling me to leave
my message for you at the tone left my mouth as dry
as a hollowed out egg when all the chicks are hens
and should be having hens of their own
but are afraid to feel their wombs first so full
and then so empty.
This, I know, should not be the place for a last goodbye--
leaving well enough alone
was one of the gifts you gave me before you were gone,
a lesson I learn so well I can leave things broken
without weeping for what they were when they were whole,
but it still took ten whole minutes,
several sips of water, a wave of nausea,
an over the porcelain bowl uneasy lean,
and all this passing without an ounce of inner unstiching,
to accept that the day could not move on
until I dialed.
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