Pay Phone

first you need to find a pay phone
which isn’t all that easy
since you just arrived yesterday &
can’t see very well what with all this soot & smoke
& heat, OMG the heat
then you have to wait in a long line
there is plenty of time
snaking around the fire pits
every now and then tapping
the one in front of you with a bony finger
hurry up
there is no hurry here
you hope you have a few coins left
that your quarters didn’t slip out of
your pocket into last night’s putrid river
that Charon didn’t steal them
when you were dozing
you shove the skeleton in front of you
hurry up
there is no hurry here
finally it is your turn/you dial the number
the number you have engraved on your heart/
or what is left of your heart
you wait for her to pick up
longing: to hear her voice
eager: to tell of your journey
missing her: terribly even though it has
been only a few hours since her cool hand
since her pleading eyes
what’s that I can’t hear you who is this must be a bad connection try again
she hangs up
you shuffle to the end of the line
hollow bones clacking



About the Author: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.