Frequently Dialed Number

Thursday, February 6, 2020

When the spam callers call
the way autumn leaves fall—
numbers on numbers on numbers—

though I know it could be
better healthcare for me
or it could be the walk-in tub plumbers,

I can’t help but glance
at the area code
and think “216. That’d be Cleveland.

Could be the dude
who still owes me for food
I bought when we saw Negativland.”

Or, “Buenos Aires?
Finally! The mulberries
I ordered—a long time ago, in the past.”

I see Princeton—609—
and I think, “Is it time?
I never applied, yet I got in—at last!”

But calls from your code,
my ex-lover of old,
send a shiver up my very spine.

I remind myself “No,
she don’t call me no mo.
And my therapist says that that’s fine.”

• • •

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