Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Voicemail—died on June 24, 2009, the voicemail from my father on the iPhone said Transcription Beta (low confidence), Hello hi um I think I may be able to find somebody to reduce the size of the car OK I love you. The Transcription Beta had low self-esteem from the beginning. It wandered into the river squinting and came back blind. The Transcription Beta could not transcribe dementia. My father really said, I may be able to eat the juice now, not I love you. Is language careless or are we? Is language the broom or what’s being swept? When I first read I love you, some hand spun a fine thread around my heart and tightened. Because my father had never said that to me before. In the seconds before realization of the error, I didn’t feel love, but panic. We read to inherit the words, but something is always between us and the words, between us and the person who said the words. Until death, when comprehension and disappearance happen simultaneously.