OBLIVION: LETTER HOME
Thanks for the bleach and the directions back,
even though we’ve had this discussion
already. I should tell you before I forget
or the crushing pain roars back
how much Emily appreciated the red yarn.
She couldn’t stop smiling. Until
she vanished one night or decided
to leave. When I think how much the same
those are, even my bones sigh.
Down the street there are children
who need baths and when I find water,
I carry some in my hands and tell them
I’ve found another hidden river
in an owl’s nest or inside one of the leaves
running mindlessly about
as the dead tend to do here.
I try to reveal their faces
or slick the knotted hair from their colorless eyes
or let them drink a little
but all they want to do is run.
I go back giving water to the ground
and names to their miner faces
and trying to recall the gloves I wore
when I was eleven. The trains I tried to believe
were only sound. The box
I sent you should be there before long,
though inside it all I placed
was a cricket’s green leg.
I’m sorry about that but I was thinking of you.
All the weight that I could afford
and the only thing at night
singing that will not want to eat you
or wound you for sport
and before you ask, yes, I was careful,
though there were times
when all that saved my skin
were Grandma’s prayers so give her my love.