Illustration by Modita

Where have the voices gone by Jenean McBrearty

Illustration by Modita
Illustration by Modita

The transmission started with a crackle,
and Alexander searched for something to say.
What good is an invention
unless it can conjure us.
Our loved ones.
The doctor.
Start with the name: Mr. Watson.
Then order: Come here.
And tell why: I want to see you.
Family, lovers, friends and generals
Have been summoning ever since.
Come here.
I want to see you.
Touch your skin.
Smell your hair.
Delight in your freckles.
Because a disembodied voice
when you’re lonely, afraid, in pain⸺
you want to shout, “Come here!”
A one-way conversation is for naught.
God doesn’t have Verizon
and He doesn’t answer.
No message machine.
No texting keyboard.
No emojicon.
But a hundred years after the Declaration,
Alexander gave us real independence,
let us travel knowing, hoping
that someone would hear us and say:
hold on, my dearest, I’m on my way,
the way God should speak and laugh and reassure us
with a phone that rests in a cradle.
Don’t you miss the music?
Why do you leap into the silence of the grave?
I text: Too soon you’ll no longer hear the voices
make a recording
Linked into the dead.

1 Jenean McBrearty bookmark

Nothing replaces the comfort of faces except the sounds of humanity.

Jenean McBrearty is a graduate of San Diego State University, who taught Political Science and Sociology. Her fiction, poetry, and photographs have been published in over a hundred and eighty print and on-line journals. She won the Eastern Kentucky English Department Award for Graduate Creative Non-fiction in 2011, and a Silver Pen Award in 2015 for her noir short story: Red’s Not Your Color. Her novels and collections can be found on Amazon and

About the Illustrator


Modita is doing engineering in UIET, Panjab University, Chandigarh. She aims to travel
the world and has, becoming famous as an artist on her bucket list. Her Plan A is to make her parents proud and Plan B is to open up an Art Gallery. You can find her works on Instagram and her Facebook page.

Where have the voices gone? is part of the weekly poem publications from the literary collection The Machinery. You can submit your poetry and fiction here.

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