Robin York  © 2007 All Rights Reserved

Letter Ten

Here, in a bed that has become another country,
a stillness has fallen as if the snow outside
had drifted in, filling the folds in my sheets
and burying me in a numbing dark with its thin
shovel of light. There is only one body here,
and it is mine. You, who I long for, lie
in another room elsewhere unknown to me,
your hair still damp with rain. How is it
that we have come to this moment of wanting,
without passports in hand, without names, only
the wounds we wear, the ill-fitting masks of sorrow,
the memory of the moon’s silver bruise in the sky?.

***

 

Letter Fifty


Someone, I tell you, will remember us
if only by what remains in these letters
grown grey with dust, sunk into the shadow
and depths of boxes, shelves, and drawers.
These lines I meant to give you, if I had
but a place or a name to lay down beside my words.
If longing were enough. The shape of a heart,
or what it leaves. The curve of rain over an arm out
of a window. The sound of trains in the yard, in the fog,
outside the city where the hills rise into darkness.
What I glimpse through the streaked windshield
of my car in the last blows of a storm, before night
opens wide like a sudden view of white flowers
in a dark field. Someone will remember us,
the woman filling her glass in the river, the man
watching the horse drown in the waves.

Neil Aitken
Copyright © 2007

 

Neil Aitken is the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, the Drunken Boat, Poetry Southeast, Portland Review, and Washington Square. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside and now lives in Vancouver, BC.


These poems are part of his current manuscript project entitled Letters to the Unknown Wife.


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