Voice Mail

I saved a voice message from you

I replay it, afraid to forget our history

and so I can hear you say you love me

when I forget to love myself

the recording is accurate, nearly

exhaustion through cracked syllables

and the thin hopeless whine

spins like a record, quietly




Fetishize the tangled side

distilled from a distance

but too feral to love

Dilated to dark days

playing on anyway

run it to gravel and push

Let there be some levity

lost in the lush

a pull or crush

Of softness

or solace

rubbed to the bone

Wrapped to protect

please stay away

there’s nothing left

— —




Things come clear

and nothing is soft

time loses its poetry

rhythm lost

harsh lines and edges

of character and intention

comes through

grey areas

faded colors

rinsed and repeated

until thats how

how it goes

how It is now

easier to see

trees in flat fields

when options seem sparse

You take what’s been given



Did the reader close the book

walk away

leaving unfinished business

for some unknown time

or is this a terrible

choose your own adventure

with the happy endings

ripped from the spine

Perhaps just a pause

dog eared

to be picked up

continued again

will memory serve

will the arc make sense

or is it changed

never new again




I couldn’t separate you from the city

worn in and beautiful

cramped and labored

but there’s the charm

in airport terminals and cab rides to your door

I should be so lucky

to wake up in the shadow of the empire state

to fall in your step

past trash heaps and concrete

reflected in subway car windows

curled into you

It fits like a glove I can’t afford to wear

the alcohol on our breath

spins me unsteady

it’s never as good off paper

can I own needs

or will yours always be louder




Push my fingers along the water

to feel the breaking of its skin

wherein and land meets

It’s hard to mourn

the living

harder to hold

the dead

Over and over


over and over

There is no clear answer

no great lesson

beyond the ripples

we send

by our own hands

Eventually, the ties break

the sound echoes

and little we can do

once the water turns tepid



Nadia Garofalo

Nadia Garofalo


Nadia is an artist/musician/poet currently living in Chicago. She freelances on TV and film crews.