— Barbara Saxton
Another 3 AM call
all I hear is your breathing
I breathe back, playing chicken,
back and forth, up and down, each hoping
the other will hang up first.
Lungs pulsing, hearts beating,
through our one open bloodline.
I wait, reliving a long ago time
when our seven and twelve year old selves
invaded that bakery, demanding donuts in character,
my Tweety to your Sylvester:
Stop dat, you mean ole puddy tat!
Laughing too hard to eat,
nearly peeing our pants, we ran
down the hot Cleveland streets, stopping just out of range,
gasping and grasping in silly solidarity.
I’d never had so much fun,
and next time you appeared
at the door to my cage, inviting me out,
I let down my guard, flapping to you,
only to feel familiar claws digging deep in my wings,
while your sharp jealous teeth
clamped my tail feathers.
Did you call tonight
wondering which sister would answer?
Dumb, gullible Tweety,or the pissed-off storekeeper,
warning you to take your business elsewhere?
But it’s late, and I’m really too tired for games.
My cage door is locked tight.
I feel you out there, breathing, waiting,
and I’m seven again, nesting in my dark corner,
vowing not to give in
to you, or our god-damned