Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2020  Vol. 19 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Now That You’re Nowhere

anyone on earth can find you,
I find you here,

in age-softened envelopes
postmarked Par Avion,

San Francisco, 1959,
hidden at the back

of my mother’s closet
beneath stacks of frayed

linens. Goddess, you write,
I was stunned to find

you’d changed the locks.
Now that you’re nothing

but black ink, your familiar
hand elegant, precise,

at first, as printer’s type,
then falling apart,

as you did, toward the end
of each letter, growing

larger, loopy, spilling down
the pages, you’re these words

I shouldn’t read, but do:
you’re hungry and ill,

casino, motel. You’re jail.
You’re poison in the glove box,

shirts and ties she took.
You’re sorrow and sorry.

You’re rage. I never knew,
you write, you hated me so much

you couldn’t bear to leave
me even my razor. Please don’t

write me anymore about my
children. Check soon.  

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