Nightly Phone Call
I stand, waiting my turn. Three black phones hang
upon the wall outside the medicine booth.
Trent talks to his mother, who seems content,
happy, with his progress. Another boy clears
his throat. Trent continues his banter, soon
rambling. He hands the receiver over
to a nurse, who begins to speak, repeating
hello? hello? like a broken radio
as Trent walks calmly away. I was next
and didn’t understand why the slow trickle
of salt rolled quietly down her cheeks. Perplexed,
I begin to question my own sanity.
I am given the receiver to dial and I find
sharp waves of static replying over the line.
Reading Catcher in the Rye in Bed 311
Salinger paints disease well. Bi-polar
caricatures of a charismatic boy
swung about in life, a frayed rag-toy
flung by circumstance. Reading in the solar
heat, warmth of rays laid upon my collar,
flipping the pages the color of wheat,
door closed – never locked – fleece neatly
folded up. Though it’s normally cold here,
Helios, my nuclear friend, is merely
consuming his visiting hours. Glad
to have even an apostrophe for a friend,
I insist him stay. The voices are clad
nickels rattling in a tin-can-cranium,
and as horizon hides my once golden
day, I swear I mistake my name for Holden.
Samuel Fox is the 2014 Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Collegiate Poet for Western Carolina. His work has been published in Full of Crow, 13 Magazine, and The Nomad. He currently attends Western Carolina University as an undergraduate and is involved with the Asheville, North Carolina slam poetry scene. He moonlights as a jazz guitarist who cannot sing and is working on a book of poems titled Fierce Anatomies. He works at Hunter Library’s Special Collections on Western Carolina University’s campus.