portion of the artwork for Emily O'Neill's poetry

Phone Call with the North End
Emily O’Neill

Between my pillows, your sailor song
voice rolls in like fog over the bay.

The ringing is music the same
as your silences. I can hear every moment
we’ve spent smitten in the breath
flanking sentences: onions sizzling
at breakfast, the screen popping out of window frame,
jangling sock full of Laundromat quarters, stiff
spring wind along the Charles that warmed
at first sign of our skin.

First we met, I was asleep.
This is how I know you are important.

When you doze off, I whisper
in the trough between snores
that you are a tooth meant for a gap in me.

Wind pours from your mouth,
filling me like a sail, but it is the moon
that has me by the throat.

There are spaces in you that will sink us.
I have no right to tar them over.
Instead, I leave hopes like coins
sacrificed to a lucky well.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 38 | Fall 2012