I need to rehearse before I make a call. Unknowns make me nervous and it’s easier to face strangers with an assembly line.  

My favorite is “Perfect, thank you so much”  

with the last two words blending together because I can’t wait for the time where I will no longer be expected to speak.  

When I was young I memorized three phone numbers  

and as the bus rumbled by the yellow house up the block  

they would flip off my tongue and into stale corners  

fitting for a bricked up school that used to hold mass in the gym.  

I think voicemails are heinously under utilized.  

Is it criminal to want to hear another person’s voice without their needs pressing against the walls of the room?  

Leave me your thoughts so I can fix up my plaster.  


Olivia Rivera is an undergraduate student studying International Affairs, Naval Science, and Writing. She values poetry as a way to explore nuanced human relationships and as a tool for autobiographical writing. Olivia draws inspiration from her childhood in Pueblo, Colorado and experiences that have allowed her to embrace her identity and independence.

Digital Library of Georgia. Waddie Welcome Archive.