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They carry phones now
Little boxes of magic
The can speak to a friend
Anytime, most anywhere
In my heart I have treasured
Many removed from my proximity
This magic has allowed it so
Was it an illusion of connectedness?
I have stood in a public place
My soul a chilled, bottomless goblet
Terrified of my own desperation
Afraid of what they would think
If I gave the impulse breath
To clutch at someone
To attach my body to another
Just to feel the contact
Fearful that in that instant
I might bleed them dry
That the great void within me
Might drink so much of their life
So as to render them like me
A pitiful cry for help
Whose result might be the rubber room
Many such days
And always a phone near
Whose magic had enabled a life
Of near prefect isolation
A romance with the lie
Of supposed total independence
But I survived
And through my night
God gave me a secret of inner wealth
That when I can remember
I can release my heart
To soar in joy
And melt in gratitude
At the gift of hello
Even to a stranger
And a response, usually spoken
Friendly more often than not
A simplicity I never knew
No device
No technology
Just two beings
For a moment
In the same place
At the same time
Unafraid to touch
If only lightly
A gift I never knew
Or had forgotten
In the shallow pool
Of a woundless life
Or so I thought
Until the day came
When the phone would not ring

Stephen Pursell, 10/22/98