telephone of the
nineteen seventies variety
keeps its silence in the sunlit hallway
and further down the way
where raincoats and hats hang from pegs
the souls of the dead decide to gather.
The phone, with a heavy receiver
sprouts surrealist red cuboids
and slowly changes colour.
these souls having left this life
sixteen and seven years ago respectively
choose this particular moment
to congregate in the hallway
is not clear.
he lies bare chested in bed
and wonders if he might be
having a heart attack.
Not at this precise moment of course.
There is no pain
or indications of anything being wrong.
It’s just that he can imagine all too clearly
the red muscle pulsing in its slack sack of membrane
like a light going on and off and pictures how easily
it would be for something to go wrong with this process.
He takes another drag on his rollie
then puts himself in the recovery position which has a calming effect.
If a heart attack’s coming at least he will be ready for it.
Who knows? Maybe the whole thing will pass by
without anyone realising. He forgets about his heart
and sees the phone, the cuboids bubbling out of the mouthpiece
like a froth of blood, the ghosts in the hallway
they look like particularly solid lines of dust motes
that become more apparent or fade depending on the brightness
of the sun. Ghosts are like busses. You wait for years,
and when it does finally arrive there are two of them.
He drifts into the place that precedes sleep
and listens to the ghosts - he knows all too well who they are,
and when wakes he finds the entire country gone mad.
|© Su Joy|