At the Other End of a Wire

When he called, there were 261 emotions
at play. I thought there were only wistfulness,
humiliation, and mere bitterness left, but lo,
I see now the brilliance in the numbers. 
Emotions 75 and 78 made me happy just to know
they existed. I felt less alone, more impervious. 
I was emboldened by the existence of 152. 
Though, how was I supposed to accept 9, 14, and 179?
We deserved better, distress and indigence aside. 
Something about 260 broke the spell inside me
and offered up a tiny shift: I opened my eyes in the fog
and tore off the surfaces of 261 and 4 with a great shout. 

“At the Other End of a Wire" from The Wilderness: Poems.  Copyright © 2014 by Sandra Lim.  Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
More Poems by Sandra Lim