When I am quiet
I hear the birds pass their chirps
to each other
the wind graze the trees
outside my window
electricity hum through
the fluorescent bulb
your bare feet plod on
the distant kitchen floor
I hear your breath—I hear your chest
rise and fall
my ears buzz with the steady
riff of you
You know you’re bored—even lonely
and don’t forget procrastinating—
when some guy from Meteor
customer service rings your phone,
says his name is Musheer
and you actually write it down.
He sounds as if he’s next door,
he sounds as if he’s far away.
‘Do you have a few minutes
to discuss your experience of Meteor?’
And you do, you take your time
answering, trying to be accurate.
‘Any other comments?’ he asks,
but while you’re thinking how
he could be right next door,
he could be far, far away
‘Anything else we can do for you?’
pops out of the phone. Yes,
you say. You aren’t waiting this time.
‘Where are you from, Musheer?’
A pause. ‘And where are you now?’
Silence. You guess this isn’t in his script.
‘It’s raining here in Galway,’ you add,
‘it’s lashing against the door.’
You picture him amidst the phones,
thinking weather thoughts.
The voices around him buzz away.
‘It’s raining here in Bangalore,’
he says, ‘it’s raining here, too!’
A grin beams from phone to phone,
makes you feel he’s just next door,
makes you feel far away.
Celeste Augé is an Irish-Canadian writer who has lived in Ireland since she was twelve years old. Her poetry has been short-listed for a Hennessy Literary Award and in 2011 she won the Cuirt New Writing Prize for Fiction. Her most recent collection of poetry is ‘The Essential Guide to Flight’, and her debut book of short fiction ‘Fireproof and Other Stories’ was published in 2012. She lives in Connemara.