Dear Robin in the Church Hills, this is my Friendship Poem


Put the batteries in my mouth.

The double-As, not the D-cells.

My mouth is more of a TV remote.

My mouth is not a ghetto-blaster.


These batteries help

Through the day.  I tend to wake up

And say the usual things in the kitchen: I hate my life,

Help me God, open me like the white whale,


I will shave you, Mary of Egypt, etc.

I said these into what I thought was a vacuum,

Like the Cheshire-mouths do on TV. 


But you woke up ahead of me,

Platonic most mornings. 

You heard all or most of my praying


And I ate the eggs with some really-burnt toast.

I still hard-boil

Because I live in Oklahoma now, which is a bad excuse.


Donít worry if anyone will read this.

No one will read this, not even you.

Not even when you drink tea with Ahab in the bathtub.


Because everybody has talked about Animal House so much

Over the course of 30 years or so

That Animal House doesnít matter.  We just talk about it too much


And when we sit down and watch Animal House in the dark,

We will see John Belushi break

The bottle over his head as a rah-rah starter;


It will look clean and sharp to us on Blu-Ray. 

Viewership will be reclaimed.  Please,

Sit with me in the dark all ready.   


Phil Estes' work is forthcoming in LUNGFULL. His work has recently appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review. His short story, "I'm no Pete Rose/I can't pretend/While my mind is quite flexible/These brittle bones won't bend" was selected as a Notable Story of 2011 in storySouth's Million Writers Award.