Our answering machine still played your message,
and on the day you died Dad asked me to replace it.
I was chosen to save us the shame of dead you
answering calls. Hello, I have just shot myself.
To leave a message for me, call hell. The clear cassette
lay inside the white machine like a tiny patient
being monitored or a miniature glass briefcase
protecting the scroll of lost voices. Everything barely
mattered and then no longer did. I pressed record
and laid my voice over yours, muting it forever
and even now. I’m sorry we are not here, I began.