Sounds of the Street


She called me from another coast
asking if was awake.
I am now, I said.
I just, she said, I just needed to talk
to someone.
Someone familiar.
Someone nice.
I didn’t feel very nice
or very awake
so I didn’t say anything.

It’s hot here, she said. So hot
my windows are open all the time
and I can’t escape the sounds of the street.
I just thought I heard someone say Sticky Dick
or Sticky Chick
though I couldn’t tell you why.

I’m lonely here, she said.
The only voices I hear
are on the street
or through the walls
or the super,
who keeps giving me the eye.
and touching my shoulder.
I think he wants me.

Why are you telling me this?
I exhaled, exasperated and exhausted.
I don’t know, she replied,
I just needed to talk to somebody.
Could it be you?

No, I thought.
I cannot be your cross-country confidante.
If you are not here to comfort me,
why should I offer you support
way over there?
What do you want from me?
I thought that
but instead said
something else again.

Talk to me, I said,

Talk to me, I said,
tell me more about the street.
And she did
and I listened
until she fell asleep
and then I did.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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