Friday, October 17, 2008

Telephone Survey

The phone rings
I answer before I finish swallowing
I am choking on my lunch
As I gasp I imagine
Dropping the receiver
The recorded message continuing efficiently on
My skull careening off the kitchen counter
Like the first bounce of a cue ball
Tossed down a flight of concrete steps
I will instinctively and ever so momentarily
Regain my balance
Then slowly spinning on my left heel
As a pastoral paddock gate
Silently swings in an early spring breeze
I list then fall onto the white tiled floor
Eyes as wide as a hoot owl
The color washing from my flushed cheeks
I begin to turn blue
My dogs sit side by side in the doorway
Cocking their heads in mummed amazement
While my hands become the feet of a chicken
Hanging in Chinatown butcher’s window
My right leg kicks as if electrically stimulated
Upsetting the cat’s water dish
I convulse like an automobile running out of gas
Then become exquisitely still

My dogs simultaneously cock their heads in the other direction
The larger of the two ventures forward
Sniffing as if he is reading the smells around my body
The other
Jumps onto the counter
And finishes the macaroni and cheese


smith said...

absolutely great ending - and likely true.

michael salinger said...

I've received two phone calls from family members asking if I am all right. this is a poem. it is a fictionalized account.

I must be doing something right though - like I tell my writing students - the piece doesn't have to be true as long as it is real.


Kelly W. said...

Dogs. lol

Anonymous said...

what kind of dog is this in the photo.I have a puppy who looks exactly like the one in the photo.i'm trying to figure out what he is