Even now her voice sounds far away
even farther than across the country
whispering over phone lines and satellite.
I hold the receiver against my ear
my clutching fingers ache, arthritic
warm plastic crushes my earlobe.
At first the conversation is in the room;
she talks about her kids and her kids’ kids;
she ttalks about her garden, the hard soil.
Then she drifts far away, to the holy land,
the land of truth that brooks no argument:
her voice tiny, sibilant vibrations and space.
I can see the color of her rage, tendrils
of green and sparking blue drift through the room
like cigarette smoke through afternoon sunlight.
I see her dancing among the clouds
her lips snapping like maracas on a Mexican patio
the words beading on a Corona bottle.
Housefly settles on the lip of the bottle
performs the ritual frantic toilette
that fills its caustic life, then lifts and flits away.