Sometimes flags fell with each sentence’s false start on a track that never came full circle, and we didn’t want it to. For those who knew letters, they had weight; they could sting, but they could also sing, almost as soon as you opened them. You could be attached to letters that were never attached, missives tucked away which glimmered with parts of your identity, forgotten speeches, plays, scurrilous flings better off unsaid.
I used to pause at the gates of a letter; before unfolding it I would draw my fingers across the carefully-folded creases, wondering whether and in whose lifetime they would yellow and disintegrate, whether lifetimes worked the same, or would they sharply tear apart or worse, be unread.
What was the true measure of hours spent at the gates of an older ruminant world, sitting in the shade to experience a solitude intended for me? After all the ink spilt into margins, bluer than the ocean’s countless crossings-out, made gentler and more cursory as love’s salt and minerals dispersed, is it so different now? Are we not still more sea than sea whose waves still a lullaby’s lyric across the ledger lines?
David Capps is a philosophy professor at Western Connecticut State University. He is the author of three chapbooks: Poems from the First Voyage (The Nasiona Press, 2019), A Non-Grecian Non-Urn (Yavanika Press, 2019), and Colossi (Kelsay Books, 2020). He lives in New Haven, CT.