The mail has come, as I was thinking of you
I was wondering about the man that delivered your letter
when the dogs barked, I didn’t think anything of it
was his day suddenly made inexplicably better
but I meant to say earlier that I didn’t miss it
when your letter fell into his bag
when you said I should watch for the mail,
perhaps his shoulders suddenly happy and relaxed
only I didn’t know quite what you meant
and the dog down the street didn’t jump the fence
I just held onto it, slipped it into my pocket carefully. Now
I bet his wife suddenly called and said something kind
I have a sweet mouth that is a little on fire –
the rain held off and he could even turn off the heat
it must be all the way up into my eyes as I write this.
because it warmed up more than predicted.
Chocolate, chilies, cherries. I can hardly write.
Now his feet don’t hurt and he’s even humming a tune
But if I could get to you right now, if I could get to you,
he hasn’t thought of in years- probably jazz–
I would surely kiss you all the way to next week,
and he hums and smiles and maybe whistles, too
until your lips were raw, ‘til you begged me to stop
even when he turns the corner
to let you breathe, to let you eat, or speak
he keeps smiling, his heart light
and you will taste like chocolate and chilies and cherries, too
all the way, all the way, all the way home.
First published in Pine Song. Winner of first place for the 2016 Thomas H. McDill Award, judged by James McKean, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.