While Waiting for a Call

A startling show is on television.
The hot colors of a half-hour life
bend out of the almost-slate box,
mugging the viewer.
The content does not matter. Certainly not
to the woman in the beaten, red chair…
her thoughts are beyond this room. She sees
the telephone,
and the sudden whiteness
sharpens the space around it.
Everything else is now nude,
leaving only anxiety and
the telephone.

A recent evening is an exercise in
revisualizing the stiff space.
A gray-pierced man joined the woman
in smoothing away the thin, crooked
textures of this room.
Together they caught the night-wash
in a rush and rise of gentle moments.
There was, however, a mistake
in tempo, and the shadow-blue
of his faded presence soon echoed out
from the newly contoured space.

And hinged on this memory might be
a change.
As if observing clarity…
as if this acoustic prison
allows the option of ignoring the
clear-cut — almost fictional — bars.

But when at last the phone’s clatter begins,
there is no movement. Maybe
this should not have been said —
as our woman,
held fast to her chair, staring past
illegible lines of nighttime TV,
does not, cannot
hear the phone’s dull calls —
even they are composed of only the silences between.