To you who used to read my letters

Smudged on Corrasable Bond

Or handwritten in fountain pen script,

I’m sorry.

A long distance view makes clear

What was impossible, then, to see.

The interpenetration of craft and illusion

Allows that it was you I loved, not words.


But then love was so verbal, a clever stack of

Carefully arranged sounds? Did nights

On the beach simply help us play out what

Had been said and written down?  We swam there

Too, and did not drown. Later summers,

I wrote to other girls and found that they

Did not have the right vocabulary, the right ear.

So I went back to writing you.


The freight of those letters was too much

For any donkey to bear, much less

Your slender frame.  Your intelligence led you,

Stealing away.  Perhaps you let letters slide to the ground.

Or perhaps they exist in some attic box

Where time has made them meek.

Don’t go looking.

I’ve. re-arranged the stack.