Friday at 6 pm,

another promised call

in your last letter.

This week

I weave

in and out of spaces

left by mobs

cluttering the paths,

breathing in the coming weekend’s relief

after that damned history test.

I hail a taxi

and rattle through highways

congested with rush-hour vermin

lurching

stopping

lunging forward

dodging pedestrians and stray dogs

and a hundred

apathetic potholes.

Finally, I implore the driver

to stop; the walk to the house feels

like forever, thoughts of you

prodding me

faster.

The door gives way

as a shrill ringing propels me inside;

ignoring a stubbed toe,

a bruised elbow from my flight,

I grab the receiver.

My breath is caught

at the sound

of your voice.

Hello’s,

How are you’s,

and

you sound tired’s

haltingly inquired.

Such a waste

on perfunctory greetings

all

for the sake of politeness.

The rustling begins as he asks

about the new puppy

and Aunt Elsie’s move to New York.

I throw to the winds all courtesy

and shout through the noise

whether he missed me.

The line goes dead.

The static could have been there

right from the start.

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