Future landscapes

by Janna plant

After you died, I walked home. Left the car parked at the hospital. The autumn leaves would tuck it in. Horizontal late afternoon light exploded only one-half of my body, orange. The weight of your absence had me bent at the waist. A right angle in jeans and a blue puffy, dragging along a gravel path that zigzagged Zephyr to Pine to Lakeshore to Eagle. The pebbles swelled in a wake behind me. The backdoor was still splintered from my frantic hands beating it the week before. I shoved the gold key in, turned it, and stood still as the white door swung away from me. The pear-colored tiles reflected the sunlight, and the glass in the cupboard cast prism stars along the wall. The telephone sat there, looking lonely. A real telephone with a base and a receiver. Your cells were in the building where you died. Well, maybe they were here, too. I picked up the receiver to hold the weight of it in my hand. I put it to my ear like we used to do with the bananas, waiting for sound to come through. I heard the dial tone, and then, “We are future landscapes.” You were there. “Hello?” I kept the receiver to my ear, but followed the cord to the wall. It was connected. And maybe we were, too. Then, the dial tone. There was nothing in the pamphlet about this.

Janna Plant is the author of The Refinery (Blazevox, 2009). Work can be found in the following anthologies: Jack London is Dead: Contemporary Euro-American Poetry of Hawaii (Tinfish, 2013) and A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park (Wolverine Farm, 2013). Plant is a regular contributor to Periodic, a Brooklyn-based conceptual zine from Roots + Limbs Press.