The Manchester Review
Rodney Jones
Four Fables Set in The Shawnee Hills
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Coco rings four times and answers herself,
“We’re not home right now.
Please leave a message after the beep.”
And beeps. Then whistles a little while—
like Nestus Gurley—a note or two
that with a note or two would be
a tune. And also sharps the beeps
of a garbage truck backing up,
says, “C’mon,” asks, “How are you?”
and answers, “I’m fine. What?”—
Gray suit, red tailfeathers, call girl—
Whatever you imagined hearing,
listen again—if you mean to swing,
listen less deeply. Let go of meaning.