OBLIVION: LETTER HOME
Thanks for the mango salsa and actuary tables
you requested for men of my age, economic bracket,
level of education, boring sexual orientation,
and tendency to pick fights with razor wire.
The numbers don’t seem encouraging.
By my calculations I expired several weeks ago.
There aren’t many people who can say
they are either mathematically stunted
or one of the hellish legions of undead
roaming the earth in search of Miami
because it’s nice there this time of year.
I have been so bored. Far away from the cities
that were first destroyed in rage
and then because it was surprisingly easy
and now out of habit. To pass the rigor of time.
It was probably untrue the anecdote
I heard growing up, that Eskimos
had some hundred words for snow,
all its variations, consistencies,
but I think I learned in the cities
the necessities of rubble,
made and made and made again,
until all I saw were men
ravaging the dust with their teeth,
if they still had any. Horrifying at first
and horrifying for a long time after that,
it grew to mean nothing much,
less than annoyance. When
they discovered the spray of blood
massive compound fractures
made from moderate heights,
when this was a happiness and they cooed,
I left. Quiet here and the air
seems better, no one dropping through it.
I was thinking of your silence.
How humid it seemed
and immense, August and all its agonies.
When you set fire to the sofa.
And you never said why
or allowed us to remove it.
I’m either lonely or in love with this
terrible world. Or dead
if it’s still true that numbers never lie.