Werewolf Calls His Mom
by Steve Klepetar

She’s doing laundry, tells him how she hauls
each load to the basement and how she really
doesn’t mind. She washes so little now. Her

elevator is slow and the security mirror
in the corner has a long, black crack,
but all in all the building is safe and clean,

her neighbors more pleasant than she expected
given the changing population.. “Some are Indian,”
she says, “Some black. There are Chinese and

Koreans, Puerto Ricans and a few old Europeans
like me. We have the United Nations here.”
She tells him about the foreign films she’s seen

in the theater walking distance from her place,
the one that used to show porno movies
twenty years ago. She talks about declining

health among her friends, people he knew
slightly when he was a boy, before he roamed
the night streets without mercy, tearing throats.

Her deep, even voice and dull stories
calm his furry mind, dim the pounding blood
beneath his eyes. She talks and talks expecting

little in return, his grunts enough, between bites
of dog food straight from the can, his appetite
terrible now, so near the full moon. When she

hangs up, he swallows the phone. All night
he hears it ringing through his stomach wall,
carries its gurgling summons, its warning, its weight.

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