I am cereal in a bowl, big wicker chair, striped skin

I grieve, sigh, sixteen years, you finally picked up the phone

My house was visited by a peddler and a milkman

on the other line you must be driving, I’m in the back seat

I can hear my voice, heightened larynx as fine as a spider web

What is a boar bristle brush? What does a milkman say?


I pause and listen, static breath, I’m not sure what to say

you wouldn’t know me today, bones curved, wrapped in thick worn skin

concrete floors have popped my feet’s veins, years spinning my web

stitches zipping us, breath condensing on our secret phone

How much time has actually slipped since you left your seat?

I hear me now, asking more about the old peddler man


Boar bristle brushes from the peddler, milk from the milkman

brushes made of real hog hair, stiff as sharp wires, she would say

her vintage hands  grip the wheel, mine pick thread on the back seat

the distance scatters like beads vibrating beneath my skin

want to warn you, I can’t, knuckles white and squeezing the phone 

if only I could mention the bomb in your brain’s smart web


one call could never start to unravel my tangled web

Thank you, I whisper, you told the truth, you warned me of man

I hear my voice aging past puberty through tarnished phone

I press tighter to my ear, I found you, I don’t know what to say

afraid to lose the bleary air between our cheeks and skin

the clock tower chimes jingle bells, car ding, you leave your seat


No, stay with me and please don’t leave your Monte Carlo seat

I have more to tell you, light winks out of dew in your web

fourteen years crossover, two lives, shared blood beneath our skin 

your advice tattooed across my sternum ‘NEVER TRUST MAN’

I’m not really sure that it helped, bruised, don’t know what to say

I can’t tell you how they broke me through the glitch in our phones


I don’t want to wake without you singing prince on this phone

but we are drifting apart, sixteen years between our seats

I know I’m thirty, but I still really need you, I say

your voice cuts through, splintered by the storm, time’s frail wind-blown web

You are willow tree, tilting, but still stronger than man

Mom needed you too, three generations and our scarred skin


shreds of web linger, phone just a crashing of foam and waves

wicker seat now gone, legs now smooth, bruised, soft from trusting man

you say not to worry, I’m still there, soul beneath your skin