Somehow, I ended up in Los Lobos, and my suit didn’t fit. César told me not to be a pussy. He said, “Life is an unsolved murder, my friend,” except he didn’t say “my friend.” When we took the stage, I was careful not to smile. It was my funeral, maybe. I had a colony of bats in my eyes, and they were ready for independence.
The night before the phones were scheduled to be cut off for good, I picked up my landline and listened. Beneath the dial tone, a conversation emerged. He wanted her to join him in California, but she wanted to stay in New York, near her family. I hung up. Picked up again. This time, he wanted her to wear brighter colors, and she wanted him to have a lower center of gravity. All night, they argued, paraphrasing the various voices that rented their heads. Looking closely at the old phone gave me some ideas about the ratio between the number of holes it takes to talk and the number it takes to listen.
Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of Sixth Finch. His poems can be found in Octopus, Gulf Coast, Sink Review, Jellyfish, notnostrums, H_NGM_N and other journals. He has books forthcoming from Rye House Press and Racing Form Press.