Armageddon Via Telephone Wires

by C. Russell Price

I’m 17 and I call my molester
from the last NYC payphone.
When that last breathy hello echoes,
I slam the receiver against the coin slot
and we laugh and we laugh,
the phone booth and me.
In that untraceable call,
I call you out and I take the sun
back to the sky.
I fall back in love with holidays
and rooms in a family home
ruined by genuflecting and you like this, faggot,
don’t you?
The man I almost killed myself over
said (when I told him about you):
You’re too much, I can’t do this, I can’t do you anymore
and I stopped talking all together.
During the mute cutting years,
I ate the hole away with fast food
and binges and private purges.
Now when a man introduces himself
with your demon name, I recast him
as something primitive:
I call him a beast.
I call him buttercup.
I have slept with four men
who share your Christian moniker
and each time they bled
I pictured you out of my life all together.
I dream a world of no more Bryans.

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