One-Sided Conversation by Bonnie Naradzay

One-Sided Conversation

A man in Japan, in a phone booth
he built overlooking the Pacific,
holds the receiver
of a disconnected rotary phone
and calls into the wind.
He is talking to his dead cousin,
whom he misses terribly and who
died before the tsunami arrived.
Now he shares his phone booth
with the relatives of all who are dead
or missing out there somewhere.
People come from all over.
I can’t hear him, but he heard me,
a woman said of her son, who died
in a fire. I can go on living now.


Bonnie Naradzay’s poems have appeared in New Letters, AGNI, EPOCH, RHINO, American Journal of Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Florida Review Online, Tampa Review, Tar River Review, The Guardian, and others. For years, she has led poetry salons at a homeless day shelter and a retirement center in Washington, DC.