Mandatory Reading

Under a tree, in a place filled with letters and numbers written on granite, there is a modern remake of a table that sat outside of a coffee shop in a Hemingway novel. The benches are round, just like the top. It’s covered with leaves in the fall and spider webs in the summer.

I light candles and place them on top of a couple granite stones whose letters and numbers bring back such great memories. When I’m sure that the flames are burning true, hidden from the gusts of wind that whip up from the nearby creek, I wipe cobwebs or yellow leaves and sit down on one of those rounded benches, in front of a table that connects me to a mandatory reading assignment in an English Lit class.

I feel a soul southing voice that I haven’t heard in nearly 20 years. It was in the background back then, on a voicemail I saved for months. Someone else was leaving the message, but I could hear him yelling in the background, “give him the other number! Give him the other number!”

I didn’t return that call. It still fucks with me a little. Knowing I missed out on my chance for that one last opportunity to let the sound of his words fill my ears through the phone, it’s never gone away. I guess that’s why I still go sit at that table. It’s a fictional setting, giving me the perfect place to keep re-writing the real story.

— leest1 —



About Lee Stone -leest1-

The world is changing: Stand for Something. Soporte Para Algo. Independent Poet/Artist. Portland, OR ·
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