I call the suicide hotline
The man on the other line calls me doll
speaks in exclamations: don’t do it
you crazy fool! Someone loves you out there!
I’ve spilled a beer on my lap
and sit in wet jeans with a blanket
at my feet. Outside it’s like I always
imagined it would be – a dark and dreamy
fog arranged delicately over the yard
like I’m in my own Lifetime movie,
beer cans scattered over my coffee table.
Sometimes I have all the fight
in the world, I think, but don’t say
because all I really want
is for this man to call me doll
so I can imagine his voice
coming out of a soft boy mouth.
Mostly, he just says he understands
and I ask him if he knows what it’s like
to drink two-day old coffee over lipstick stains,
to drag a road-sign with your mother’s
maiden name out of the ground, only to leave it
on your front porch in the rain,
if he knows what gravel feels like
stuck in your palms.
I can hear paper shuffling,
phones ringing – he’s very busy,
I realize, and I’m very drunk
and I don’t even sound like I’m in danger.
Sometimes, I tell him, I just want
to get drunk alone and watch Braveheart
but tonight I just want to hear
someone say my name
and sound like they know
who I am
Mary Stone is the author of the poetry collections One Last Cigarette and Mythology of Touch. Her chapbook, The Dopamine Letters, was published in 2014 by Hyacinth Girl Press. She currently lives and teaches in St. Joseph, MO, where she co-edits Stone Highway Review, serves as a poetry editor for Sundress Publications, and coordinates the First Thursdays Open Mic Reading Series.