My mother says she’ll tell my father
so I don’t have to. My brother I tell
via email, so I get all the details right
without the words cracking in my throat.
My sister gets my brother’s email, copy-
and-pasted with a foreword. My best friend
gets the phone call, her children screaming
in the next room. When I push the button
to hang up, I put the phone back to my ear
just to listen to the silence. They say
this generation will never know
the sound of a dial tone.
Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is the author of five books of poetry as well as the nonfiction book, Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, which Billy Collins wrote “leaves no doubt that the slam poetry scene has achieved legitimacy and taken its rightful place on the map of contemporary literature.” Her poetry has appeared in PANK, Gulf Coast, Rattle, Conduit, La Petite Zine, decomP, kill author, Thrush and Muzzle, among others. Her recent awards include the ArtsEdge Writer-In-Residency at the University of Pennsylvania (2010-2011), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry (2011) and the Amy Clampitt Residency (2013). Her sixth book of poetry, The Year of No Mistakes, will be released by Write Bloody Publishing this Fall. For more information, please visit her website at www.aptowicz.com.