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Long-distance calls

By Ioannis Kalkounos

When telephone poles unstitch the night
at the hem to see what lies inside,

children emerge from sparsely punctuated
dreams to pick up a receiver –

at the other end of the line unborn saints
ask for directions to this planet,

grandmothers exhale earth and basil
from their lungs in muffled whale songs.

Sometimes, the receiver burns lifelines
in their palms, starlight dripping on the carpet.

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