Numbers to the Universe

I came across an old phone number, mine

when I lived in an apartment by myself,

on a manuscript so that some fantasy publisher

could call me up and buy my story.

I didn’t recognize the number.

I suppose it was right after saying it, it sounded familiar.

But it was so long ago.


Usually, most people can remember their old home address,

282 South Street, 3296 Byrd Avenue, like that.

Phone numbers are a different order of memory, though,

which brings back the idea of memories, mnemonic devices.


What if I search my entire house

for every old address book I ever had,

discover streets and numbers from ever so long ago,

names of people I can’t now picture in my head,

and found the number for Grigstown.


Could I dial the four digits

and get Momma to answer? If I rung him up,

would Dad pick up? Mark?

Wouldn’t that be wonderful science fiction.

I’d like to do that now and then,

see how they are, and maybe

love them all over again.