“Telemarketer” by Brett Garcia Myhren

Brett Garcia Myhren


I’m reading on the couch
when she calls, asks for me by name.
I smile at her scripted intimacy,
imagine her cubicle with photos of pets,
the long bend of light
on her lacquered nails.

“Listen to this,” I reply,
David kissed the soft inner banks
of women’s thighs.


“Oh, there’s more,” I say,
Thighs like loamy earth
that cup the rivers, or lilies
blooming in rose and mint.

“Is this a bad time for you, sir?”

“Is it for you?
Tell me something,” I insist.
“Tell me anything.”

A quiet unfolds between us
as though we’d spent our breath
on withering arguments
or lost it
in the scented air of sweat.

Finally she says,
“I’m in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Outside, leaves are turning
in the cold.”

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006
Tribute to the Best of Rattle


Brett Garcia Myhren: “Writing, at least as it applies to me, is more like an infection than a conscious decision. Though it’s hard to say exactly when or where it began, I remember taking a poetry class in college and reading a poem called ‘Keeping Things Whole’ by Mark Strand. At that moment, I realized that poetry was different than what I had expected.” (web)

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