Lost his church key long ago, coin return
Makes a quite convenient opener,
Beer is cheap, even by local standards,
Now warm as tropical breeze on tanned face,
Used to it, licks sea foam from his fingers,
Always sure he has a sack of fresh limes,
Alcohol dulls pain of the too far-gone,
White beach torments every sunburned day,
Before he does what he’s been paid cash to do,
Just one three minute call if she’ll take it.
Por favor, I have to place a collect call
To los Estados Unidos, señorita!
Señorita, yo no entiendo, que usted…
I’m so sorry,
I don’t know how to say.
Palm fronds sway; nails scratch rusted blue phone booth,
Reads back year-stained number, last one he had,
Damned squirrel monkeys incessant chatter,
Would be easier to shout empty curses
Into cerveza bottle that dangles,
Long brown neck hangs loose from his battered hand,
Than have telefonista understand…
Hopes Saxon’s in Austin’s still where she's at.
Had pretty good times there, maybe others
Not so great; if he could just talk with her…
Es importante, señorita,
Please keep trying you have to,
When she answers,
What will I say?
Takes a look out of cracked glass, and watches
Iguana peer into forever skies,
Reptile Nostradamus reading fortunes
Sharp Caribbean glare ignores his lies.
¿Que, señorita, alli no hay respuesta?
She has to answer! Please, it’s urgent.
¡Es urgente! ¡Es vida o muerte!
She’ll be happy to hear,
What I’ve waited to say.
Lived life as he chose for himself, not like
He protested when he thinks about it.
Loved those phone calls late at night, to fly off,
Find someplace dangerous to push his luck.
How much it hurt, concerned somebody else,
Didn’t really care, as long as she was there,
Never could explain his blood focused gaze,
When dime store cowboys tried to hit on her.
She hung on, much longer than expected,
Longer, perhaps, than she maybe should have.
¿Usted tiene el número correcto?
Of course I do; I’ve called many times!
Muy bien, señor, intentaré una más vez.
She won’t answer,
What’s there really to say?
Hollow dead man shatters bright on stone deck;
At his feet, mosaic of green rinds, ground,
Beer-soaked, dark sand, broken glass, colones;
Pops cap off one more; he has to leave soon.
Lagoon sparkles, drives needles in his eyes
That burn with sweat, or unforgiving tears
Shameful weakness he’s not supposed to show,
Certainly never on a job, one more
Cat-silent approach, quiet double-tap,
Quick departure, impossible murder,
Puzzle for the federales to solve.
¡Señor! I have your connection!
¡Estados Unidos! Por favor, you must listen!
¡Gracias, señorita! He waits,
While the phone rings, and rings, and rings…
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|Reviewed by J M
|I have to agree very lyrical and well written I enjoyed the read.|
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|Enjoyed this wonderful and most lyrical piece...!!
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
|VERY intense and very bohemian in nature, at least to me, even could be called modern-day beat. Anyway, it impressed me because I have been that guy in the phone booth. Wonder where all the phone booths have gone to? Great study in abject failure and frustration as he tries what may be his very last chance to connect with anything resembling normalacy.|