Daily Archives: September 27, 2019

Late Night Phone Call

I make a late night call
to one of the last self-confessed
Americans and ask them
if we can talk about
what that identity means when
we are being asphyxiated
with increasingly little regard
for what anyone thinks about it.

“Who is this?” they ask me.
I cannot speak.
They wait for a beat, maybe two,

before hanging up.
I sit there for a long time

unable to answer, quaking
in the chair until I drift into horror sleep,
waking up hours after that
to the phone. It’s them.

What do I say to them? After
they are done speaking,
do I dare ask, as they did, 
“Who is this?”

What do I do if they also
cannot answer?