Dear Robin in the Church Hills, this is my Friendship Poem
Put the batteries in my mouth.
The double-As, not the D-cells.
My mouth is more of a TV remote.
My mouth is not a ghetto-blaster.
These batteries help
Through the day. I tend to wake up
And say the usual things in the kitchen: I hate my life,
Help me God, open me like the white whale,
I will shave you, Mary of Egypt, etc.
I said these into what I thought was a vacuum,
Like the Cheshire-mouths do on TV.
But you woke up ahead of me,
Platonic most mornings.
You heard all or most of my praying
And I ate the eggs with some really-burnt toast.
I still hard-boil
Because I live in Oklahoma now, which is a bad excuse.
Donít worry if anyone will read this.
No one will read this, not even you.
Not even when you drink tea with Ahab in the bathtub.
Because everybody has talked about Animal House so much
Over the course of 30 years or so
That Animal House doesnít matter. We just talk about it too much
And when we sit down and watch Animal House in the dark,
We will see John Belushi break
The bottle over his head as a rah-rah starter;
It will look clean and sharp to us on Blu-Ray.
Viewership will be reclaimed. Please,
Sit with me in the dark all ready.
Phil Estes' work is forthcoming in LUNGFULL. His work has recently appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review. His short story, "I'm no Pete Rose/I can't pretend/While my mind is quite flexible/These brittle bones won't bend" was selected as a Notable Story of 2011 in storySouth's Million Writers Award.