Death says to me: soon enough, he will call collect. (Only pay phones in hell.) (No burners?) But the phone companies killed all that years ago – "Operator? Operator?" A bot buzzes in the receiver like a dying fly. My cell phone screen is cracked with jokes and I don't recognize this grim reaper's smile staring back at me from the lock widget – gives new meaning to saving face. Saved by the bell, or ringtone. Sitting out on the deck – listening to woodpeckers' hard words with bark beetles. "I hear you knocking, but you can't come in." I skipped Morse code in Boy Scouts along with Lifesaving and Bugling Which means I can't play taps for you, my friend – only these fingerprints on Gorilla glass, tracks in the sand draining down the silicon hourglass. If survival is eulogy enough, we are still here.
*”Death Calling Collect” – Don Tracy, 1976 (among other versions/sources)