Letters

Letters, I’m fascinated by them, I guess they are becoming lost, drowned by texts, emails and emojis. It must be wonderful to receive a handwritten letter, to think someone took the time to hold a pen, to choose some words and then print them on the sheet that they smoothed flat for you. The paper infused with a hint of their scent, particles of their skin in its pores; maybe a tear or two supernova some of the words?

I remember being promised a letter when very young and the anticipation of receiving it has never left me.

 

The letter I’ve been waiting for all my life

 

a froth of daises

through the frosted glass

of the front door

sunlight wrote to me instead

 

Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter to her husband I find almost unbearably moving and it has always made me think about writing letters back to those who we have lost; would the dead read them? It also made think about not writing to the person but to the elements that might have seen, heard or touched them during their life. If these elements could write back what things would they tell me that I hadn’t realised or noticed.

 

I’m not writing to you

 

I’m writing to the river

that opened your hair

carried you to the sea

 

I’m writing to the sea

that polishes your broken glass

turning it to petals

 

I’m writing to the rain

that darkened your slate

made it sharp and shine

 

I’m writing to the high grass

that traced your palms

that cut you without drawing blood

 

I’m writing to the stones you chose

asking them to tell me about

the taste of your hands

 

I’m writing to the sunlight

that turned to dust

as it settled on your skin

 

I’m writing to the wind

that blew you inside out

tugged at your frayed threads

 

I’m writing to the breaths

that settled soft as snow

bloomed as bruises on your skin

 

I’m writing to the dark

that held you at the end

to the candles in the paper boats

 

in the flooded chambers of your heart

to the flames shattering

spilling themselves into the waves

 

I’m writing to the smoke

to the ribbons of ghosts

collapsed all over my ceiling

 

 

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