Christine Taylor

The Last Payphone

He hit the highway on his daddy’s old cruiser headed west past the strip mall and the falling-down post office where he had mailed a postcard to his girl last week.

Sure, he had tried calling listened to the ringtone that ended with the recording: “We’re sorry, the number you are trying to dial cannot be reached.”

Yeah, he stopped by her house watched the windows in each room go dark as he pulled into the driveway.

He revved the throttle the engine rumbled hot between his thighs she liked it that night his fingers caressing her neck his hand on her throat like holding a kitten in your fingers pressing squeezing control the breath breathe.

He’d call again this time from the last payphone in the county the red and blue Frontier booth its broken window panes scattered among dandelions

and dust-- “We’re sorry, the number you are trying to dial cannot be reached.”

providence

at once under the streetlights she dances pirouette in shadow a fire behind.

Christine Taylor, a multiracial English teacher and librarian, resides in her hometown Plainfield, New Jersey. She serves as a reader and contributing editor at OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters. Her work appears in Modern Haiku, apt, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Rumpus, and The Paterson Literary Review among others. She can be found at www.christinetayloronline.com

Recent Posts

See All

Sam Bickford

RIP MEEG <3 —and seasons don’t change but bleed through each other—and being in bed is a laxative for risk—and he didn’t sleep—and I try to place that last phone call— and his gravel pitch shifted th

Laura Ohlmann

Wellspring I pour Mom a bath of oatmeal suds and keep my forearm submerged to judge what is too hot and what will soothe her. She needs help taking a bath now. I undress her, the way she once held my

Abigail Swoboda

Video Store Guillotine After the razor nicks the back of my neck, I pet the wound for the rest of the week & I google “horror movie heroine” because I want to be hot as in un-murderable— as in big swe