The Last Time You Called by Andrea Wyatt

Wish you were
here I mean, not dead
me bored on our weekly phone chats, you babbled
about the latest bistro, café, winebar
on Montague street in Brooklyn and did I remember
the Arabic grocery store on Atlantic Avenue? I did.
We bought cans of tahini and packets of pine nuts
and went home and made baba ghanoush and kibbe
and listened to the Pacifica radio reports
from North Vietnam while we ate;

you start talking about Richard Dawkins and Loren Eiseley
about evolutionary biology and entomology, and
these calls are like sex, it takes me a while to get revved up, but finally
I got into the spirit and tell you last night I heard
Eric Kandel talk about the brain on Charlie Rose and we went to see Charles Dutoit
conduct Rachmaninoff, and I just finished reading some great poetry,

but suddenly you begin to moan and I’m impatient to get off the phone:
you are stuck with your insomnia, loneliness, bad knees
your old friends, dead friends, no friends anymore
maybe, you say, you should go to Florida
or visit me (oh god please no) or maybe check into Payne Whitney
for a few weeks to get some sleep,

but instead you stay in your apartment and stop eating
and ignore the phone and don’t pick up your messages
and don’t look at Facebook
and curl up in bed and finally
die.

Andrea Wyatt
Andrea_Wyatt-Andrea_WyattAndrea Wyatt is thinking about moving to Baltimore where she was Poet-In-Residence at Antioch College/Baltimore and lived in the Belvedere Hotel. She is the author of three books of poetry and her work will appear in Gargoyle, Gravel, and Clackamas. Wyatt works for the National Park Service in Washington, DC. She kept bees, but now plays the tin whistle and is associate editor of By&By.