Calling Home – Mickey Collins

phone home
phone home
it’s miles away
you’re miles away
but the landline’s still plugged in
by thin wires
and electrical pulses
going this way and that
like memories traversing back and forth
through mountains and oceans in your mind
you almost can’t bring-ring yourself to hang on

family gathering-ring
parents overbearing-ring
a weight you’re shouldering-ring
dangling on a heartstring-ring
jumping and teetering-ring
. . .
hell no
want to hang up
have to hang on
no noose is good noose
you never liked talking on the phone
lips pressed to ears
ears tulips
a rose arise
six feet under
pennies over your eyes
no cents
backed up against the wallet
I’m alone again
need a loan again
money, honey?
thought you were doney
no, it’s not funny
I will always pick up the tab
will always pick up the phone
you can always make a one eighty honey call collect

first, turn around, come collect your life here
everything’s dead quiet
it’s all gathering-ring dust
I’m gathering-ring dust
your room’s just as you left it

your dad went right to work
a quarter past five
and hasn’t come back
he’s with his girl
feeling alive
fingers up her back
leave it to her beaver
mine’s been dammed up
damn kids saw to that
but momma still loves you
in a resentful sort of way
more than deer ole dad
that bucker
what’s his excuse
it’s all fawn until soccer games grounding PTA meetings
he may bring-ring the bacon
but someone has to grill it
fry his ass if I ever catch him where he’s net supposed to be
serve him with tartar on a bed of court papers
it’s 40-15, with no love left
game’s over
set’s been taken down
the jury’s out
but I can’t object
can’t divorce from the truth
need someone to lie with
someone to come home to
someone to baby me

momma doesn’t care about your indiscretions
your life’s decisions
she’s not mad
I’m not cold
you’re just not
who you hot to be

momma had hopes for you
so many plans
but that doesn’t matter now
crawl back into the nest
let momma shape you
comb your hair
clean you
bathe you
lick your wounds
your ears
between your toes
momma won’t leave you
just love me
don’t leave me

it’s what you do
when I was due
popped you out into the world
it was my fault really
nine months in the dark isn’t enough
wear sunscreen
brighten your teeth
a smile that strikes
listen to your heart
two strikes and out
mind your brain
three strokes and dead
watch your morals
don’t get lost in the corals
other fish may flap their fins
other birds may sing so sweet
they’ll all try to show you a good time
avoid the murky waters if you branch out
you know mama’s nest is the only one you need
near the breast and the rest

mama will preen your feathers and bring-ring you down
pillows to fluff to suffocate to comfort to make a fort
dig a moat but don’t forget to draw the bridge
for queen mother, full of grace
will poison your enemies without a trace
she’ll clean your laundry of damn spots
your helmet has lost its mettle
watch your head and heed this warning:
beware free room and board
am I boring you?
plant a pea in the bed

place it deep down
in moist fleshy soil
sow what
sew your oats
weave a blanket
cover it, incubate it
splitting an atom
two four eight sixteen
making Adam
abort it
life begins at gestation
poop begins at digestion

I’d like toilet you finish, butt
please don’t gripe
don’t struggle
don’t scream
it’s nothing mother hasn’t seen
you’re looking diaper
white whips will wipe it clean
but you’re still full of dirt
dirty behind a dirty mind
flush it down
a royal hot flash
of brown, of yellow
if red please consult a doctor
if it lasts more than four hours
consult a plumber

free your mind of pipe dreams
a brain wash, squeaky clean
spin cycle, nausea
if you can stomach it
no snacks an hour before,
or maybe just a bite
of my warm milk to help you sleep

write your troubles in your dairy
just don’t go to bed angry
or cross without praying
or prey without prying
you kneed an answer
but the phone rings-rings through
you get His answering-ring machine

defect from God, You defect
neglect Him as He rejected You
You are made in His image
and mine, too
about fifty-fifty
He’s my X, but Y?
You’re half mine, but You have all my love
You have His hair, His smile, His nose
momma knows You’re perfection
idolized in my eyes
He’s just a phoney
God am I lonely

Why don’t you phone home more often?
I never hear from you.
I must get off now.
Call on me again.
Home is just a dial tone away.

I’m sorry, the number you are trying to reach has been
If you would like to reconnect
kindly go back and try again

Mickey rights wrongs. Mickey wrongs rites. Mickey writes words, sometimes
wrong words but he tries to get it write.

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