Two nights after the breakup


I dial your number wrong

Suddenly, through fate and pulses

Twitches through air

I am connected to a stranger, you

Minus one number, or maybe two


Your name sloshes around, lulls out of my mouth


Loose on my misshapen tongue

Even after hearing an older woman answer

I carry on talking to you.

She doesn’t hang up, doesn’t break our connection

And in her reply there is a furry, conspiring, lilt

She is fluent in slurry and beg

In sludge-mumbled anger and desperation

And all that ugly language that love

Reduces us to. Or is the booze?

I thought I heard her say

“don’t do it”

I stared at the phone, glowing apps

But her voice could have come from antiquity.

“don’t do it”

maybe she said

“sleep on it”

Maybe she told me to shut the fuck up

Then hung up

Sending that connection looping back

A rubber band, snapping,

Racing back to where it lived.


by Jennifer Ihasz

Jenn Ihasz. is 42 years old and recently went back to college to study History and English Literature.


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