In Czech there is a word
for getting around paying to flash
a signal, this, prozvonit, is what
my mother and father did when
I was young and he was away first
in the Navy
and later for work, him calling home
on the land line,
which was then the only line, and hanging up.
he was safe.
It meant, I love you.
It meant, The world is not holding us
apart at all but is just between the dots
on the great grid. In the hospital I buzzed
my brother on the nights I slept home until
the nurses said, Males can not stay; only
the daughter. In the night,
I huddled next to her listening
to the tides of her breath. Lost
in a pool and drowning, a winged
thing, unable to dry and lift
itself, my mammal hands
crude against her delicacy,
crushing. Sometimes I
wake in the night. Mother
are you there? Are you there?
I’m ready to learn another
language, a new syntax
if only you will speak
to me in which I can
hear; how selfish this desire