Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Mark Phillips

the Voice on-the-tape

"The brothers were seated facing Joseph…they looked at one another
wide-eyed, wondering what would happen next." Genesis 43:33 [The

In what can only be described as a reality-denying maneuver
he still insisted it was not-my-voice on his answering machine
though I knew it was and had left him the message to encourage
him after life took a merciless left turn down a dead end

He left me his longhand affidavit cataloguing every reason why the
that left him the encouragement about
new prospects,
new opportunities,
a job where he might tickle or clap his hands again,
why the voice on-the-tape could not
have been mine.

For sixty days he painted black the chipper waves from the
little box by his phone.
It must have been a taunt that summer from another someone
haunting him down like ghosts through the cornfields.

The voice was-too-friendly to be real, it couldn't have been mine,
and the demon he created pulled his teeth out by the roots,
tied his hair back in knots and wouldn't let go until
the pain was all that remained of sunset walks and
cabin-side suppers.

But still, the voice on-the-tape was mine.

If I buy you dinner, grill some burgers,
invite you to wine and cheese,
will you then believe the voice is-a-friend's
and not the apparition of daggers in your dreams?

Steve Dalachinsky Jesse Auchter George Kerr Bruce Stater Colin Van Der Woude Jonathan Mark Phillips

No comments: