By Andrew Hamilton
Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system.
“Ashley Maddox” is not available. At the tone, please record your message.
When you are finished recording, you may hang up or press 1 for more options.
“Heard about your startup in Silicon Valley,
they’re so proud they printed an article about you
in the Mississippi Press. Now I never got the meanin’
of smartphones, Facebook, or email, but your picture
sure did remind me of when we used to ride them dirt
bikes ‘cross Tupelo Farm, downhill to the fishin’ hole
hookin’ cutthroat trout with crickets for bait….
You remember them days, Ashley? I know you
chopped off your hair, followed that rainbow,
got yourself a girlfriend now,
but what about them hours spent between us,
back before the world started spinnin’ too fast?
Makes me wonder ‘bout memories
and what happens when you cain’t
remember them no more, does it even exist
when the images you saw with your own eyes
fade away into that blank space
where you scratch your head real hard? Jesus, Ashley.
How ‘bout them sounds we cain’t even hear no more?
You touched my elbows, earlobes, back of my kneecaps,
an’ now I cain’t even be sure if it happened this way….
So long ago, makes me question if we really knew each other…
Or maybe we just knew phases of our older selves,
and them phases were cracked pieces of our younger selves,
broken plates an’ faded porcelain not fit to shine just right,
only in the cupboard where a splintered dock with ripples
underneath reflects the darkest waters of our lives, Silicon,
short-circuited in two year’s time without custody….
You know, I cain’t sleep at night. When I look at the moon,
I stopped wonderin’ if you could see it or not
from wherever you are in that San Francisco city….
Instead, I see myself standin’ on the darkest side of it,
waitin’ inside the deepest crater, listenin’ real hard,
an’ I’ll wait right here, listenin’ in them lunar shadows,
listenin’ till the sun lights you right up with it,
yeah, that’s where I’ll be, waitin’ on the moon
till the sun touches the dark side an’ you
see me for the first time again, Silicon.”
Andrew Hamilton graduated with his MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California. At The University of Tennessee he received The Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for creative writing, The Bain-Swiggett Prize for traditional poetry, and The Knickerbocker Prize for nontraditional poetry. His work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest, Blue Fifth Review, BlazeVOX, The Rush, Glassworks, Reed Magazine, Crack the Spine, and Yes Poetry with new poems forthcoming in The Main Street Rag, Dream Pop Journal, Maudlin House, and Flash Fiction Magazine.
Image: “Penn Field,” Austin, Texas, painting by Brianna Keeper