Nightfall Dial

Shabbat is a time
when no work must be done

It is a sacred time of rest
That falls upon
a Saturday

He never really knew why dialing the phone
was considered work by some
but he was pretty sure
it wasn't.

This, of course, by his Rebbi

And so
in the amber light
as the sun set

He calls her number
and gets her voicemail
then hangs up
before the answering machine picks up

He speed dials her again from his droid
the sound of the tones ricochet in his head
and then, connection

And her voice answers again
a shibboleth
then she says
leave a message

And so he hangs up.

There is a moment of silence.
Amber light has faded from the sky.
Night has fallen.

He speed dials her number.
Listens to the message.
Then hangs up.

Outside his home
faintly against the darkening sky
the sound of her voice on the phone

It is her voice.
He is alone.

He hangs up before the tone.

Dials again.
And hangs up.


The voice quits. Just at the last word. Enough to clip
the final syllable. But he hears it.
He knows ever word of her message.
Every Nuance.

And something tells him.
He dials again
As slow as speed dial can.

Knowing. But not knowing.
It would have come to this.
The droid glows against his face.

He imagines
the call flowing through the switch
and routing to another place

A pre recorded voice. Saying.
This number is no longer in service.

She is gone.
The carrier will give her number to someone.

in the Machine