On Broadway
by Lawrence Kaplun

This row of payphones on Broadway,
beside the door of Metro Diner

(beaming fluorescent light),
not exactly a row, two of them, a pair

of lovers, broken. The sign—
"doesn't work."

Cracked lip of receiver,
the part where you hold it

to your ear. Gaping wound,
pieces of wire sticking out like a brush.

Want to hold it in the crook
of my shoulder, and make the call—

whoever it is I need to call, maybe
someone to tell me this place

where we walk (or I walk
alone), isn't really broken.

Listen to the fire truck
roaring, not like a phone,

but it keeps ringing down the street,
then everyone forgets where it has gone.

The fire of these phone wires sticking out,
the booth where no one (it seems) is hungry.

Copyright 2024 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.