Crossword on the Busby Rhina P. Espaillat
"Why did you call me 'Charlie'? Yeah, you did.
Go get your mother on the phone. Out? Where?
So who's with you? OK, put Grandma on.
Yeah, fine, I'm good. So, say,why did my kid
just call me 'Charlie'? Is your daughter there?
You jerking me around? What gone? Where gone?
That's not my business? Listen, I don't care...
Hello, hello! Pick up, you bitch!"
to look up from my puzzle—if I can
without his noticing—but do not dare.
Silence like knives, now that he's snapped the lid
of his cellphone. Who knows when words began
hardening into silence for this man?
I hunt for words to pencil on the grid.