It might be a push-button phone
or one with a dial, or a numbered scrap
of burlap tacked to the wall at which
I toss croutons, stones, hacky sacks.
Once, it was a stack
of drawers I had to pull out
and push back in the right sequence. Always,
I’m inept, my core strength gone, my fingers,
wrist, hands jerking or slipping. The dial tone
continues, the videographer nudges me, says
I’ve neglected to enter the area code. I try
again and again to call until
I’m certain it’s far too late.
I’ve been told that if I can decipher
its meaning this recurring dream of needing
to reach someone and failing will cease,
but I suspect I’ve grown too adept at keeping
secrets from myself. Isn’t this a symptom–that I’ve
developed tremendous skill at losing small
objects around the house?
Oh, sometimes I find them, but rarely
before they have lost their usefulness.
Which actually gives me a snippet of hope. Perhaps
on the day my limbs have gone slack and my
mind floats feather-light, the tunnels might
clear, a light appear, and the bolts of gauze unwind
so that I spontaneously connect. Then,
I might perceive in my innermost
ear and eye what I can’t
let myself acknowledge yet.
Prompt: Six Words, December 2013