Correspondence

I've gotten nothing for weeks. You might think of me

 As dated in a blue housecoat, buttoning & unbuttoning,
 Waiting you out: I have my ways

 Of keeping time. When your letter comes, dogs will bark
 Up & down the street. The tomatoes in the garden

 Will explode like fireworks. Each day the mailman passes
 In a reverie, illiterate, another cobweb

 Grows across the door. Picture me
 Going bald one hair at a time, combing & curling, burning

 My hand on the iron once every hour: I like to
 Keep myself busy. When I hear from you, aurora

 Borealis will sweep across the sky. Every lottery ticket in my drawer
 Will win. Even the mailman will know the letters

 Of your name. If you bothered to notice, you would see me
 Turning to gold rather slowly, bone

 By bone, the way teeth come
 Loose from the gums, the way animals go

 Extinct, in geological time.


'Correspondence' from Marabou (Carcanet, 2005), © Jane Yeh 2005, used by permission of the author and Carcanet Press.

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