Silent Profile On by Philomena van Rijswik


Untitled by youknow505
Untitled, a photo by youknow505 on Flickr.

And I’ll tell you what kills me-
Cinders and Smoke when I go to bed at night
kills me;
the white sheets, the white sheets,
the gzillion-thread-count Egyptian Cotton white sheets
kill me, while Cinders and Smoke tortures me,
while I wait for the white-noise buzz of your call,
the Silent Profile On buzz of your call,
while The Trapeze Swinger starts
its do-do-doo, sweetly bland, and you
still haven’t rung, and the white sheets,
and it’s killing me, this waiting, waiting,
this white wanting, and
sometimes I check my Call Register
after you’ve called, just to read the word Unknown
…as if that has become your name: Unknown…
and I even look at the time you rang,
as though it will give away some inscrutable clue
that I’ve overlooked,
and, because your name to me is now Unknown,
I have some profound attachment to the word,
and I imagine, one of these days,
when you’ve emailed and explained,
and you’ve finished off with: I’m sure you’ll understand…
that the word, Unknown, will be a white torture
to my aching insides, for a time,
or maybe even forever- for a colourless eternity.
And that’s why I hope the phone will buzz
before the next song, which is Flightless Bird,
and which is so indescribably sad
that I don’t think I’d be able to bear the two
at the same time:
the sad, sad song
and the silent phone.

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