Jul/Aug 2018 Poetry Special Feature

Text Message

by Sara Pirkle Hughes

Image courtesy of British Library Photostream

Image courtesy of British Library Photostream

Text Message

after Tony Hoagland

The other day in the hard beige center of a classroom,
up to my elbows in pale blue exam books,

summer break hovering over my hunched neck,
my thoughts drifted like a beetle in a backyard pool

to a friend I'd heard nothing from in months,
a man whose voice always verged on laughing.

At the exact moment I imagined him
moseying down his street 1,000 miles away,

my phone buzzed like a dragonfly
with eight words from him:

Got lost, thinking of you. That is all.
The timing, as if divinely designed,

seemed borrowed from a poem I'd memorized
years before, some sonnet's final couplet,

the lines I knew to recite slowest, savoring each syllable,
making sure I didn't take for granted the best part.


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