Corey Mesler
The Voice and Me

The Voice that Wants my Annihilation waits in line at the Jiffy Stop. I feign interest in the Hostess rack to avoid His eye. I hear Him ask, too loudly, for a lottery ticket. “Do not scratch here,” the young Korean man says. The Voice looks around to see if anyone is witness. His gaze rakes over me like a small tool grooming its bonsai bed. It’s too hot in the Jiffy Stop because outside it is too cold. After The Voice leaves I feel as if I should purchase something. I get some chemical cakes and the latest issue of Boobs. The young Korean man rings up my sale and smiles at me. “You writer,” he says. I shake my head. What if The Voice that Wants my Annihilation were somehow still listening? I do not want Him to know of my ability to limn him in print, to mask my fear of him behind irony, lucubration, feminine rhyme or syzygy. As if He is an ex-wife I want Him to think I still love Him. I go home and study the small pastry I have bought to see if there is something there about which to write a tanka. The phone rings. I know it is The Voice calling. I want so badly to finish something before I answer His call. I want so badly to finish one small thing before I answer His call.