Two One Two

By: Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad


What I miss about old landlines,
is the mystery of contact, calling
customer service somewhere else
in the country, and at the end of the call,
the voice, with no means to pre-identify
me with ten digits appearing on a screen,
would have to ask how to reach me,
and it didn’t matter that I wasn’t phoning
from the cross-streets of the Flatiron Building,
or while on a scenic path in Central Park,
still with a tone full of pride
I would get to recite Two One Two
and hear myself pack honor and home
in these three numbers, an anthem made
of just an area code, one that starts and ends
with a number that, when spoken,
inevitably shapes the resident’s lips into a kiss


Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad’s poetry has appeared in Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Waxwing among others. She is the poetry editor for Noble / Gas Qtrly, and is a Best of the Net, Pushchart Prize, and Best New Poets nominee. She lives in New York where she practices matrimonial law. She can be found on Twitter