Nitesh Raj Parakh
Call U Later
When I m wa! t! ng for your call
I imagine all kinds of things u could be doing.
You could be on the Train,
underground with no Service.
You could be at a loud DJ
u don’t hear your Ring.
You could be at the Library,
working late on a Paper
your phone is turned off.
I imagine u’re on the other line with your sister,
she’s really upset about some project
s he didn’t get
you’re consoling her.
I imagine u’re napping after a long day
in the shower
a solo movie
somewhere out of reach.
Anything that isn’t looking at my missed call
putting your phone away.
I spend a lot of time waiting for your call.
“Talk to you soon, ” you say.
“Be done in an hour, ” you say.
“Call you later, ” you say.
I, equally as casual,
reply, “Oh! Sure. Yeah! Later.”
Later. She never comes.
I keep her dinner warm though.
She is a flight of fancy I never quite give up on.
I ask my Roommate,
“Hey, any idea where she went tonight? ” And
he looks at me, eyes brimming with pity and
he says, “she’s your bubby.
You don’t know? ”
And I have to swallow shame as
I admit I don’t.
Where are you? I wonder.
Who are you talking to?
Who do you look at and feel my vibrations against your leg
decide is more important?
Where do you disappear to for nights, days,
months on end?
When you tell me you will call me, do you ever really mean it?
Even in the little moments just before you say it?
Do you think you honestly will call
then something comes up?
have you never once meant it
you know that in your heart each time you tell me empty lies?
I race for it. Is it you?
Later, I will learn about feminism
I will tell myself that I can call you if I want to.
Or that I don’t have to wait at home in case you decide you want me that hour.
But the temptation is still there.
What if you call and I am not around?
If I miss it, will you ever call again?
I don’t have to sit around, no,
but I feel bound, woven in a tight spell where you dangle your time and
affection over me like a ribbon over a cat’s face.
I ground my paw to the floor but I have an animal nature that can’t be concealed.
You place the bait and I take it like I don’t know how this ends. How it always ends.
When I wait for your call,
I imagine you are desperate to see me,
to reach out to me, to call me but you simply cannot because of circumstances beyond your control.
I transfer my pity to you.Poor darling,
she wants to talk to me so badly but she just can’t.
I wait for your call because there is nothing else I can do.
I wait for your call because I need to learn how to place my hands on the walls of this prison and
push, push, push
until there’s more than just one phone call in my future.
Until I no longer imagine you at all, in any scenario or position.
Until I am flooded with calls,
drowning in messages,
making waves in the ocean with only my own two skinny arms.
The water trembles.
I will not pick up the phone.
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