The Wind Phone
—for the people of Otsuchi
The booth is like any other. Silver
Frame and windows engraved
By some past passenger’s keys.
How long has it been since you folded
Yourself like a letter, dashed off at the receiver
And melted into the breeze?
This portal sits on a hill
In a garden overlooking the sea.
Salt rinses it daily.
In the sky above
Great pylons loom
Without lines connecting.
A man comes by car each morning
Tracing a series of arcs, echoes
Of his uncle’s voice across decades.
On the last day, he arrives and cuts
The engine. Sunlight electrifies
The dull steel cage.
Squinting, the old man stumbles
And just as he reaches the portal
The wind phone rings.
By Gaetan Sgro
Gaetan Sgro is an internal medicine doctor, “girl dad,” and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he directs a program in the medical humanities. His poems have appeared in The Bellevue Literary Review, Glass: Poet’s Resist, Blueline, The Healing Muse, Apiary Magazine, Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, Best New Poets 2016, and other fine publications.