Letters to Emily

Her beauty existed in the heart-felt manuscripts

She collected in old shoe boxes

That she kept stowed underneath her bed

Dated and labeled in tidy little rows

The letters inside tucked securely

Into pretty scented envelopes

Stamped and addressed only to “Emily”

No destination printed underneath

The notes were written on fine linen paper

With a calligraphy pen


Deep rich ink spilled onto

Bone-colored paper

Her letters leaned elegantly to the right

Like flowers tilted toward the sun

These unmailed confessions

Could not be delivered

Her unborn child existed

Only in the tangled memories

Of her devastated heart


Underneath her fragile pen

She told the story of her life

Without embellishment or justification

Her darkest secrets smudged and diffuse

Pale grey puddles wept through to the other side


Each day she unraveled the world as she understood it

In painstaking detail she recounted

Not just her disheveled childhood

But the collected experiences of her day

She described the barren apartment in which she lived

The streets where she worked and the men she labored under

The New York horizon, the first time she saw stars

The butterflies in the park she drew

In with colored pencils around the perimeter


Occasionally she stuffed photos inside

Some pleasing and amusing like the doves

That perched outside on the fire-escape

Fighting over pieces of stale bread

Some almost too painful to look at

Like the scars that ran along her narrow back

In barbed-wire imitation

Sometimes too she stuffed items into the creased pages

Crushed flower petals and four-leafs clovers

There were cards for birthday and holidays

Filled from top to bottom with heavy crippled letters

Birthday cards nearly unreadable

Soaked strait through with black tears



Some people find themselves concealed

Inside other people’s conversations

Crouched between nuance and implication

Deformed and amorphous like primitive deities

Their carnivorous egos wet and eager

Like the open mouths of baby birds


You cracked open words like bones

To get at the sweet marrow

Your cavernous heart insatiable

No matter that your selfish appetites

Consumed your generous hosts


Tears as thin and flexible

As a puppeteer’s strings

A master manipulator

The hollow truth

Of your existence

Masked by maneuver

And wooden words

That approximate truth


Your moods as fragile

As the identities that sustain them

The only person you can’t control

The dismantled pieces that constitute self


Your remains were spread all over the city

Strangers dusted your ashes from their clothing

Scrubbed your residue

From beneath their fingernails

Yet everywhere I go I still see your stain

In my own reflection sometimes

Your vacuous black eyes

Reflect my lonely desire for attention

Day 6 Memory

This is us at the airport. Yes I am an adult!

The summer after I graduated from high school was the best summer of my life because it was the summer I met the man that would become my husband. I was only eighteen and we met incidentally online my very first words to him were “Hello love”. After three days of chatting he made the decision to come visit me in the States (he’s from Sweden). My mom went through various shades of shock at first she said yes, then no, then yes but he’s staying in a hotel, and then because she was afraid he wouldn’t have enough money she paid for his hotel in advance. When she met him and discovered he was exactly who he claimed to be online she decided that he’d be lonely in the hotel and he came to stay with us. At first it was a bit strange he was shy about his English and I was desperately curious (I have always known my soul mate was Swedish before we even met I was saving up to go). My mom is a very enthusiastic person and I think she may have scared him a bit to start. The attraction was immediate, honestly, before meeting him I’d never kissed anyone and wasn’t particularly looking for a boyfriend but it wasn’t long before we’d warmed up to each other lol I didn’t, if you have that kind of mind, have sex with him it would’ve been too painful to say goodbye not knowing if I’d see him again. For me there can only ever be one person and at that point it was too uncertain. He was my first kiss and of course later my first. That was one helluva an intense kiss too!  We spent most of our days wondering blindly around Raleigh, the town I’m from is small and dull, my mom worked in the capital and she’d drive us there in the mornings. The weather was over a 100 and we spent most of the time outdoors. I wore jeans the whole time because I was self-conscious about my legs and well I tend to be someone who just cannot stay away from the dirt and woods for long.  We are and were the shy awkward so one day he turned to me and said “You’re my girlfriend…” and I said “Okay…” He honestly meant to ask me and not tell me but I’ll never stop teasing about that. I can’t say we did anything particular and if we did it didn’t even matter because honestly I didn’t notice anything not in relation to him. He stayed for 14 days watching him get on that plane was the hardest thing I have ever done, it was more painful than childbirth I assure you. I cried, my mom cried, he cried on the plane on the way home. I didn’t know then if I would see him again or if would just be the best 2 weeks of my life, a perfect memory.


(Somehow I am on Day 6 I am not sure what day I missed or if I miscounted.)