A Tacky Love Poem
St. Valentine’s Day
Yesterday I wasted fifty bucks buying a gadget
from Radio Shack. What it does is: you can enter numbers
up to ten digits each,
then with a single bleep push of your little finger,
the telephone is dialed for you — with the speed of light.
Up to twenty numbers in the computer’s little brain
can be coded — access in every emergency.
I followed instructions (a quick trip to Fleet-Plummer
for two AA Alkaline Batteries) but I only burdened
this plastic heart-shaped toy with one telephone number
and I stored it
in the third drawer of my wardrobe, among my mismatched socks,
a bright red velour turtleneck I never had the courage to wear,
a rotting rabbit’s foot, several keys for who knows what locks,
your number, hidden, blister-packed inside a microchip,
ready for the telephone jack, ready for even the most hesitant
pressure from my aging fingers, your telephone number —
at any time, as fast or faster than the speed of light.