Missed Signal

He draws a heart around
three o'clock and sits
by the phone
('cause he just wants to tock)
smoking tea leaves;
swallowing cigarettes down.
'We should go to lover's point,'
he said,
'but don't get me wrong;
it's just the surfing is great there
this time of year.'

He spends the rest in
where virgin damsels go ignored.
hurricane breathing
leaflets in drifts against the door
(from Sierra Club, they are recycled)
of course,
but nobody wants to look down.

From where?
The stolid spikes of dialtone,
the busy signal mountainsides
with foothills dialing
her (area code after) only 'one'.
He liked to climb them whistling;
she liked to pretend
he would break something.

(but not a leg)

The tea leaves grow in thickets there,
with heartshape wolves in packs
of three.
Pointed moonward
smoke-seeping, muzzles
mouth-breathing his tidal pool down.
There will be no surfing here.


Puff-sticker stars spring
flowerbeds on three o'clock and wilt
by the phone
(tick talk tick talk)
like it's nothing;
he just knows that she'll come back around.
'We should go to lover's point',
he sleeptalks silently
against the phone,
'and it won't mean anything;
just that the view is the best
from up there.'

AKL 2006