Letters to friends and enemies
I now sit down to tell you how I get along:
I am well and hope these lines find you the same.
I hope these lines find you at the mailbox
savagely ripping open the envelope, dying to know the news.
I hope this letter is served to you on a silver platter
by a servant interrupting the saddest dinner party in the world.
I hope this letter finds you in a suburban bathrobe
waiting for the family shower to be free
listening to Cowboy Junkies in the yellow kitchen.
I hope it finds you dreamy, reminiscing
about tongues of talented ex-lovers.
I hope this letter finds you crying at the sink
turned away from the room
hands floundering in warm, sudsy water.
I hope it finds you changed, altered
like in the hours and days after the Mahler concert.
I hope this letter finds you chastened
and sober, the morning after a drunken fight
where you slapped your only daughter.
I hope it finds you dehydrated.
I hope it finds you among kin.
I hope it is pink-packed snug among
a thousand layers of white business envelopes.
I hope it sails across the sea in a crate
on the slowest, most exquisite container ship
piloted by a skeleton crew of fourteen
who exchange only a few cursory
words a day.
Our heroine will stick a long pair of forceps down her throat, way past the gullet to
snag the lump of angst that is perpetually lodged in her chest and when the metal tips
finally grasp it, she’ll wiggle the slippery thing out, inch by inch, so that we’ll see after
all this time that it’s a green crab, pincers waving, alive and vicious, and she’ll throw it
into Long Island sound and watch it sink to fading music.