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Our answering machine still played your message,
and on the day you died Dad asked me to replace it.

I was chosen to save us the shame of dead you
answering calls. Hello, I have just shot myself.

To leave a message for me, call hell. The clear cassette
lay inside the white machine like a tiny patient

being monitored or a miniature glass briefcase
protecting the scroll of lost voices. Everything barely

mattered and then no longer did. I pressed record
and laid my voice over yours, muting it forever

and even now. I'm sorry we are not here, I began.

Matt Rasmussen, "Outgoing" from Black Aperture. Copyright © 2013 by Matt Rasmussen. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.
Source: Black Aperture (Louisiana State University Press, 2013)

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