Issue #9 July 2017
Detail from Alone by Tim Frisch

Wendy Cannella

your messages

I know what you used to do—
stand in people’s living rooms
when they weren’t home
        touch their things
maybe try something on,
           write about it.
         That’s a good job
like a doctor on a house call
and there’s a few minutes
after the patient dies
before the ambulance arrives.
            When I listen
to Bon Iver I feel like that,
the nature of sadness, etc.
Like the strange messages
     from telemarketers
            that cut out
with a kind of radioburst,
a machine clearing its throat.
   I hold the receiver close,
      replay it several times
before giving up.
   I had something, almost
  had something the night
we made a homeless man
nervous passing too close
   on our walk. Maybe it was:
        we were blessed—
        living in the house
        we built
        out of our
For the second time that week
a man telling me:
    I don’t want to go back.
The first time was the husband
of a friend, who told me
     he clears his text threads
at the end of every day, every little
glowing word wiped away.
     As for you,
     I could feel your trust
     in the universe coming off you
     like particle beams from a leaky
     microwave.    It’s kind of annoying,
     actually, how beautiful night is.