I found your letter today, and I went to the woods to read it.
Autumn robbed me of solitude in the tree-cover,
The wind eventually would chase me from the fire-pit.
That broke, then the snow fell accordingly, seasonally.
The solitude returned in the white and cold,
chased everyone else away, to drink and dance in their homes.
I bought my first overcoat before I caught my flight back,
a woolen grey to hide dirt I’d sit on to hide the tag.
In it the inner, right-breast pocket, I held you’re letter.
I remember its first reading in my room, on the coffee table,
taping the scissored quotes from the envelope to my mirror.
I have yet to do anything out of fear. That, I recall I laughed at.
You’d be the reason I move back west,
you’d be the reason I go backwoods,
go suspend myself between roadways.
Albeit, though, despite & regardless,
was my thrill for fear made me wanna talk,
***** the desk drawer for my metal box,
savage my skin on the lonely walk.
If fear is as atomical as you say,
a lie on the tongue of every cell,
then, I could, if you’ll say, meet
every mote as it falls—
put my hand out to see
my first snowflakes.
they are not like this,
they are not like this at all,
so crystalline, back west.
Was fear that hid me this summer from you—
true, I used to fear the way you’d kiss me.
On the dock of the lake drinking wine, I told
that I was terrified then, then retracted,
said I was discomforted by myself.
Back then, way back when, ha,
feelings came thence beyond me
like the King of Pointland dethroned—
“What It thinks, that It utters;
and what It utters, that It hears…”—
myself was suddenly not mine,
I moved unprovoked and unprovoking,
finding myself in my bed
then on the porch smoking,
later then, sitting in your café,
later still, giving you my poetry,
but then, the levees break
and I wake in bed alone and
you’re on the floor in a heap
or, worse, gone soundlessly.
And here I find myself full-suited
in the mess of snow storm,
your letter in hand.
Trip tip-toe step walk into snow; a depth unknown;
trying to light the dark spirit eagle cigarette.
I find a tent in the wilderness and pitch it.
I spend two hours in there, wet, watching snow
build up until the roof gently pushes me out.
I still don’t know if I can read it.
It is only a rereading, but it’s weighty, regardless.
I emerge from the woods to the hill overlooking my life,
embanked by a line of pine. I stop here, relight myself.
The ash blends with the snowflakes
and the snowflakes melt when they touch the paper.
Have you loved? God, it’s an assurance I want.
Really, though, could I doubt it? if it is
only my love that I deem insufficient
to recquit the typed affection before me.
I kneel and read further.
To my surprise a golden-furred dog ran up to me.
He licked me, he smelled your letter, he smiled
and asked me to pet him and to not despair.
Leave it to an animal, beast in the snow
to so recognize, too, significance.
“How do I feel?” The beast frowned,
nothing hurts more than being asked
what you mean.
I got up and left when the owner’s whistle
called him away from me.
Walking back I found that I was missing a glove.
I looked behind me and I saw –against, -down the hill
the left-hand black-leathered eyelash in my tracks.
It was the same hand that you dropped from the dock
into the water this Christmas which I fished out and
fought off your apologies with. How I loved you then.
Then I must re-emerge onto the surrounding fields
and am hit with the wind that I hid from so well
in tree-cover. Then I must grapple with the life
I only half-cherish. Must think in sentences
and hyphenated-words—and dashes! ****** them.
Then, then, then! What happens next! eh?
In the steam tunnels with Carter, smoking, I said,
“I am ruled by fear. Even now I’m palpitant.”
I wrote, in the movie theater, whiskey in the soda cup,
“I am addicted fear, or so I have surmised.”
Hush, hush, hush!
If I fear I cannot love, I know that much.
If I love, as I believe I do, then I am only in denial.
True, small enough to see pure perfection, molecular.
Like the snowflakes back home which, too, are crystalline.
But it’s not visible to the naked eye, thus inconceivable,
given you’ll probably forget it. So it is dead to me.
No, God's not dead he's just not that kind of guy.
Brr, the decisive breeze. Well, then.