The phone rings
It's night and
the phone rings
Pick up: hello?
There's breathing
like after someone has been crying
shuddering breaths
Or maybe
It's that wheezing breath that comes after a long hard laugh
A laugh that hurts
Check the number...
!?
It's my number!
Hello?! Hello??
Hello I say: is this a call from my future or my past? Is this a warning or a reminder?

There's no answer.
The breathing is quiet, but someone is still on the line
Pretending
Pretending they're not there!
I fall silent, too
And for a while we breath at each other
My heart does a weird gallop and suddenly
I know it is in sync with the heart on the other end

A thought blooms: this feels like...
Love
This
Feels
Like
Love
And I start to laugh - this is what love is I realize! This is love!
And I laugh for joy, my body aching from it
And then I hear a click

and I think:

they've hung up.

They've hung up? They've hung up! Hung up! And my heart does a strange gallop, as if it stumbled on a loose step and suddenly I know
I know

I know it beats alone

There is a catch in my throat. A blockage... a lump... a chunk of heart or a falling thought lodged there
Alone. Alone again. But now... I know it's forever
Forever
Doesn't something have to be something to be forever? Can nothing be forever?

This is loss
pure loss
A space made for something never to be there again, an alter - a box! An ark of a covenant but it's empty and hollow and the inside is missing and
Nothing is sacred
I start to cry! I'm crying!
Desperate! Desperately!
Cruel! Cruel!
I press buttons all over the phone
Please! Please! I must reconnect! Pick up! Pick up!
A click and a ring:

Hello?

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