Late Night Sometimes I miss the mystery of the late night phone call from a random stranger the ridiculous panting of a chronic masturbator, the lonely man or woman randomly punching numbers into their telephone, trying to make some connection reaching out into the dark over and over again until they find someone with the time or curiosity to respond. When I was a teenager, I used to jump to answer those late night calls before they woke my parents up, would whisper into the phone to these strangers patiently quiet as they said dirty things to me, try to guide them into proper conversations because I was lonely, too. Eventually, I could steer a conversation away from promises of butthole-licking and finger-fucking to conversations about what I liked to do, what I thought of my parents what I thought of school. I’d read poems over the phone to them if they stayed on the line long enough, ask their opinion, tell them I was trying real hard I didn’t have a lot of people in my life who liked poetry. Sometimes, when the phone rings, and I don’t recognize the number I pick it up anyway because I’m curious. But now, it’s never anyone making fuck-noises into their end of the line, or someone wondering what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, what I like to do, it’s always someone trying to sell me something or alert me to hail damage in my neighborhood, or ask for a donation it’s never anyone particularly fun.
Holly Day (hollylday.blogspot.com) has been a writing instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review, and her newest poetry collections are Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press), and Book of Beasts (Weasel Press).