by M.A. Schaffner

The phone stays off most of the time and then
the connection interrogates the term
as e-mail to mail—so less but different,
as in popular music to birdsong
or doodling to effective programming,
the new halogen streetlights to the moon,
and traffic calming to the flooded ruts
of a road once used to get to market.

Things do continue despite nostalgia,
missing nothing till later remembered
without the splinters and sweat. In due course
someone will answer and someone will scowl
as they step from reality to the plane
that will only tangentially meet it.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Dagda, Pennsylvania Review, Gargoyle, and Boston Poetry. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.