The cell phone number AT&T assigned me belonged to those who left their exes to heartbreak. But these lovers must have been succulent in their summers. John calls at 2 a.m. for Maya, as he has every day this month. Drunk, he swears that he no longer drinks. That he has left his wife and God. Henry phoned just once for Gretchen. His voice groveling through the frantic ghost of space. In his message he agrees to dress in mailman togs. Promises to pay for her flight to Bangkok in the fall. Sometimes, I answer the phone while driving through the one-way streets of sleeping towns. A woman laughs into the night like Marlene Dietrich after reading the Fat Man’s blank Tarot. No one believes me when I insist on my innocence when charged with the low crimes of love. Shannon wakes me on Sunday morning. Blames me for ruining her weekend again. Warns me that my bill is overdue. That I’m running out of time.
Michael Brockley is a 67-year old school psychologist who works in rural northeast Indiana. He roots for small market baseball teams that trade off their star players the year before their MVP seasons. He has written poems since falling in love with Annette Funicello on the Mickey Mouse Club. Recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Rat’s Ass Review, Atticus Review, and Flying Island.