191 Readings

How to Write a Love Letter

Begin with bitterness
early lemon or dying rind

like last year’s clotted
preserves uncloaked

among the jars of canning.
Make it sticky, the slight

infection of eyes that follow
too close, the pharynx, the toy

boxes that held Josephine’s wind-up tiger
now lost to summering weeds

like the suck of hard candy
dissolving in your mouth.

Consider your tongue’s
desire to tip

some lover’s scales, claim
his closets for your own clumsy baggage.

In the lists and mailing labels
stamps may no longer adhere:

no risk for love without the grief.

Upon your skin (sunk deep for the keeping)
dismiss your pen and inscribe the want.
Posted 09/03/15
Previously published in Paper Nautilus 2014
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