Cindy Hunter Morgan


The needle on the turntable
skips and every time I push
the return carriage a new song

starts, plays until I take the paper
out and turn it over,
and then it's Pink Floyd

did they get you to trade
your heroes for ghosts,
so I remove the paper again,

slide in a clean sheet—
twenty-five percent cotton,
static and fuzz until I start

typing, then Bruce Springsteen
and Mary Queen of Arkansas
and now the telephone is ringing—

it's not right to say boyfriend—
his voice whole even after 200 miles,
all the way from Cleveland

and through the gauntlet
of the phone cord, looped
like a rollercoaster,

and it should be great, it should be
perfect, his voice traveling that far,
whispering in my ear, but it's not,

there is still a state line between us
and a half-typed letter clamped
behind the roller, Springsteen

singing It's not your lungs this time,
it's your heart that holds your fate,
and the rest of the paper

above the roller sticking out
in the breeze of an open
window, ruffling.

Cindy Hunter Morgan teaches creative writing at Michigan State University and is the author of two chapbooks. The Sultan, The Skater, The Bicycle Maker won The Ledge Press 2011 Poetry Chapbook Competition; Apple Season won the Midwest Writing Center's 2012 Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including West Branch, Salamander, and Sugar House Review.

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