OBLIVION: LETTER HOME
Thanks for the cucumber lotion and coupons
you cut out of the Sunday paper
though I have to bury them in an old thermos
or sink them with bricks and twine
so nobody kills me. Reading the obituary
for Mr. Kondrackie was sad
though he once beat me with his walker
for guessing wrong. We all have our faults,
I think. Dad used to tell me that
before locking the door to the basement.
He’d spend weeks down there
with his electric putting range and German
films. Did you ever figure out
what he ate? I think about that
when the glow of major cities burning
is strangely beautiful. Almost comforting.
I’ve been fixing up an old culvert
cannibals once used for a stop-over latrine.
It takes a lot of imagination
but I think you’d be proud
of the flow from one end to the other.
It’s been raining here all week.
And according to the woman
who pitied me during the night
and wanted nothing for her time
or the shadow of her body near the fire,
three years have gone by,
all of them marked by endless rain.
It seems hard to believe.
The people here are nice.
The ones capable of more than
savagery or tandem autoerotic asphyxiation,
at least. The food is bad
and you wouldn’t care for it
in that it barely exists.
But it’s been good for me.
When I laid the rags I wore
beside that kind woman
who had been so cold when I found her,
I wasn’t afraid.
I never once thought of you.
Write back soon. Tell everyone I’m not dead.