Answering Machine

by Weston Cutter
The current of the
undulating dark took meó
Iím driving, youíre
maybe not home.

The dim eddies unswirled
in effervescence, swelling
and stewing, the shore
a rolling boil.

Tonight the flood crested,
a million-fingered
saboteur, flinging
half dissolved flotsam as a

reminder of what wonít
lastóvoices, sentiments
starved to impulses, your
anger at static. I drive past

gas stations and grocery stores,
legions lighting out to reign
lost shopping carts back in and
I want to feel brought

back, prodigal but not rescued.
Maybe you are home.
The stoplights and signs, the
curbs, this mutilated path:

all this worthless currency.
I stop to call, to tell you things
are settling, familiarity
a lost but always returning

pet. I say to breathe then
I take a breath and this phone
callís a barter: my night
for your machine.

© 2001 Weston Cutter. All rights reserved.