My love, I’m waiting for the phone to ring,
          For you to answer all
          The messages I left
Or for at least some other friend to bring
          Relief to my bereft
          Expectancy, a call
                    Out of the blue
That I might for a moment hope was you.

I wonder where you are and what you’re doing
          – As if I haven’t guessed –
          As if the fact of knowing
Who else you’re eating with or even screwing
          Could set my mind at rest.
          I’ve been too easy-going.
                    I bet you’re plastered,
Too drunk to care, you egocentric bastard.

I used to be your most naïve believer.
          It doesn’t take a Freud
          To see I should evade
Interpreting my phone’s inert receiver,
          But call me paranoid:
          You’re either getting laid
                    Or on your own
At home, not deigning to pick up the phone.

That’s far more likely: loftily detached,
          You monitor your calls.
          Your answering machine,
Equipped with diplomatic skills unmatched
          By any go-between
          Indifferently stalls
                    Both foe and friend
Alike. Do you not care whom you offend?

I languish here, entangled in the flex,
          Without a chaperone,
          Soft-fingering your number
As if caressing someone’s flaccid sex
          To rouse it from its slumber.
Perhaps it’s not the phone
                    But you who’s dead.
Perhaps I need a ouija board instead.

Is there anybody there? One knock
          For yes, two knocks for no.
          Who would have thought we’d not
Outlast the rigor mortis of your cock,
          Our silence from a plot
          By Edgar Allan Poe?
                    How I’d rejoice
Even to hear an insult in your voice!

My spicy fantasies of you have ceased
          To work. I may be lonely,
          But you’re the bloody wanker.
If not for your neglect, I could at least
          Attempt a dash of rancour:
          You see, if you would only
I might feel able to reciprocate.

Gregory Woods

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