Catching Up

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Contributor: Justin DeFerbrache

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You agree to get some coffee
because it's more of a hassle to refuse.

I want to communicate so badly.
I am a fig tree
reaching out my tendril roots
to a frozen ground.

The cappuccino makes my face hot
and my eyes huge.
Not the greatest choice of weapons
for this especially icy duel.

There was a time
when I did not pay to view you
from behind aquarium glass.

When you were a companion and not an image
to be viewed on a TV screen,
worlds away.

I want to scream,
to fall on the floor,
and beg you to love me
as you once did.

But instead we talk.
Words that splatter
like bugs against your windshield.

How's the family, how's the job?
I get the ten o' clock rehash
of the six o'clock news.

I pull out one of "our jokes"
and you greet it, but not with a smile.

I wonder
at the time we spent together
and how you can barely even see me now.

I want to tell you
that you've caused me pain,
that you've dragged me
through the bowels of Hell.

But would you hear anything more
than the echo of a ghost?

You're biding your time,
waiting to return
to the land of the living.

How I yearn to be alive for you.

To be someone that you answer
with your heart
and not with the teleprompter
that you're reading off my forehead.

The cellphone starts to cry.
You're so relieved to hear the voice
you wished you were talking to all along.

You don't even notice
as I slip my empty mug into my bag.

I'll keep it in my windowsill
for the great, American tragedy
that has been our "catching up."

- - -
Justin DeFerbrache studied English Literature at a small liberal arts college in Indiana. For the past three years, he has been working as a TESOL teacher in China and exploring the Asian continent one bit at a time. He writes poetry and short fiction on the side.


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