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  • Keith Banner

Wrong Number

wrong number

but there's quince jam

but there's apricot and strawberry


jam

he didn't want to see them

anyway; he


only wanted to know

it was worth it

hidden away


behind bath-towels

inside a potted plant

inside a fitted sheet


his face to his mother

was a christmas wreath; to his

father a stern kernel of popcorn


it's all what we want to see

it's

never what it is


they took 10 jars of jam

to the psychiatric facility

and he had tried to kill himself


there, their only son,

perfectly fine now but solidly asleep,

but they were not


about to leave all

that jam for him,

no way


the nurses would eat it

the orderlies

too


so they take it home

his mother and his father

and then the phone rings


wrong number

suddenly

the father feels


the jam's midnight presence

in a corner

those luminous colors


rubies

sapphires

emeralds


it is all sugar and it is all

fruit

the world


is a color

you need the world is

just a jar

(after "Signs and Symbols" by Vladimir Nabokov)




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