correspondence with a poet friend, #6
Though the pace of the letter poems between Beth and me slowed, we’re still at it! Here’s the latest (you can find links to the trail of letters below):
I am sorry to hear that you have spent the last few weeks being dead,
but I am grateful the medical examiner stood in for you when it was time
to be buried. Stories of second chances like this make the rounds
on the internet, but I haven’t known what to believe. I am thrilled
the odds of being saved by the audience are two out of three.
Majority rules, I suppose. I can overlook the one
who would have a hand in my death. His desire has nothing to do
with me. I represent his mother, maybe, his lover,
any woman who’s denied him. I wonder about this ratio:
flowers to sins (which you may be used to
referring to as butterflies). People can’t help but chase.
We need to get a good look at others’ transgressions. Black marks
on orange velvet. Pale scars on lavender, the already-fragile
purple. You would think wrongdoings would be homely,
but it is the trick of the devil to hide inside beauty, fly the contraption
like a Wright Brother drunk on manipulation. Butterflies aren’t real
(I’m sorry to be the one to say it), and neither is the corpse
you gave to the scientist who’s grown much too close
to her work. Even the tears your family cried at the grave were insincere.
The list of things we do because we must is extensive. None of us has enough
days to itemize it, but we may agree to this: the only true stage
of evolution is the characteristic that dies out, runs out of usefulness.
The only honest thing we say is, That’s not who I am anymore.
What comes next is another bland fiction. We will outgrow it
no matter what it is. We will marvel at the new bright troubles that flutter
in to replace the old ones. We won’t know when to fall in love
with ourselves or anyone else. Attachment is the most awkward configuration
for the obvious reasons. We’re all soon to be left behind.
Here are the letters that lead up to this one:
Beth to Carolee, June 11
Carolee to Beth, June 12
Beth to Carolee, June 13
Carolee to Beth, June 15
Beth to Carolee, June 16
Carolee to Beth, June 18
Beth to Carolee, June 20
Carolee to Beth, June 22
Beth to Carolee, June 24
Carolee to Beth, June 25
Beth to Carolee, July 16