Monday, April 11, 2005

the love letters for strangers series continues

First, this morning, wonderful surprise: a poem from Paul Guest, who said: I saw you offering the love letters and thought, who will write you one?

Apparently the poem was prompted by something dumb I said. If only poems would come from all things dumb I said. Or rose petals. Or ruby droplets. That would be a lot of poems. There is a faerie tale there.

Next, in the series Love Letters for Strangers, stranger #2: Rebecca!


There are boys running. On their heads
are T-shirts. All are searching for the one
who hides behind the garbage bin or
busted fence. It’s his turn. It’s the first
day when we can imagine the other days
are over, the ones which found us
watching the plastic breathe in and out
of windows, skinning the sidewalks
of snow. They were unbreakable but then
the cold broke them. When the reader
comes to the back door with pencil,
he brings only bad news, how the meter
all year has recorded my movements,
the gas flicking on, a tongue under burner.
The dial spins crazily, a wasp stuck in cloth.
This town is an ending and all I can see
is the bath only filing halfway to drain
through a mouth flicked with mildew.
The water line splits my body in two,
half of which shivers, studded with flesh.
Half of it lives under blue light, languishing,
warm as an orchid on the living room
couch where you are spun in sunlight
and fever, where you are endless, where
you are waiting, your eyes under cloth,
your wrist breathless, suspended. The shadows
of bridges still seem like angels from sea.