Sharon Searches for Ralph

For the first time ever,
I can’t locate you in space—
by which I mean, I send out
the usual signal from my mind
and you don’t answer.

It used to be a ping
that I could feel between
my eyes, or sometimes
my shoulder blades,
my wings

if you would rather.
I don’t know what it means
not to hear from you—or,
I guess, feel from you—now.
It’s something like when

I went away to college,
would call you from a payphone,
sometimes. Long distance, collect,
and sometimes your mother,
feeling charitable, would accept

my call, pass me to you without
a word—a silent blessing—
but sometimes she wouldn’t
and there I would be,
on a Saturday night:

Hello
Hello
Hello?

Standard

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