abridged transcripts of all the voicemails i never left my ex-best friend
1. so there was this one time where we were on a porch
and it was 9:45 PM and the sun still hadn’t set
and you were wearing my lipstick and i thought i was
in love with you and the next day i went back
to my hometown and i said to a friend i wish i could just
call him but have it go straight to voicemail and so
they offered to let me call them and they wouldn’t pick up
and i do not remember what i said but i was
in my bathtub and it was empty and somehow
it felt like i was lying inside someone else’s body
2. you are growing your hair out again. my mom says
i have probably lost about 15 pounds since september.
i’m thinking about buying a pocket knife off the internet.
you started a band and you never button your shirt.
i stopped going to bed at 10:30. are you sleeping again?
did you ever sleep? do your hands still snarl when you
play guitar? or meet teenage girls at house shows?
3. i don’t know how to say thank you without saying fuck you.
4. did i ever tell you that you were my emergency contact?
the therapist said, who’s someone that knows your situation
well enough to help you in a crisis? i told her you knew
all about what happened to me when i was 13. i told her
about all the times you knew exactly what to say—
how to get me to take a walk, talk about something else,
breathe and nothing else. she called it a no-brainer.
this is not a crisis. i am teaching myself how to breathe.
5. there is another boy now and i don’t want to say
i am in love with him. in some of my dreams his face
turns into yours and then i stop having a body again.
in others i am drowning at every house show, wondering
how i got here. that was never me. you didn’t hurt me
like that. but you could have. that’s what everyone
keeps telling me. how lucky i am that i only saw
your hands snarl when they were trying to create
something beautiful and relatable.
By Lydia Havens
Lydia Havens is a poet and editor currently living in Boise, Idaho. Her work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, Cosmonauts Avenue, and Black Napkin Press, among others. Videos of her spoken word performances have been published on YouTube channels such as Button Poetry and Write About Now. Her first full-length collection, Survive Like the Water, was published in early 2017 by Rising Phoenix Press. Lydia currently works for Big Tree Arts Inc., and is a member of Boise’s 2017 National Poetry Slam team. She really likes exclamation points and lizards