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correspondence with a poet friend, #7

August 22, 2010

Dear Beth,

Don’t feel bad: We all dress up our sins.
Last weekend, I got drunk with one of mine
and put her in a cab headed downtown.

I helped her dress: buttoned her shirt
crooked, tucked her skirt in her pantyhose,
smeared lipstick across her cheek.
And I didn’t give her enough cash for the fare.

You’re right: She is delicate. And scarred.
But it doesn’t matter. When she returns,
sniffing around for my apologies,
I’ll place her somewhere in the middle of the deck,
shuffle the cards and start again.

See? I give into it, too. Fold the hands I suspect
can’t win. It’s murder, isn’t it? These desires
aren’t slick kings. They aren’t rectangular queens.
They aren’t paper hearts. They are people,
people I love. Oh, Beth! I don’t know
my next victim, but like you, I wonder:
who would I be without her?

I am afraid we may spend our lives
looking for answers. They’ll be corpses
by the time we find them. I’m sure of it.

We can’t get to the bottom of this
soon enough: when we began, the naked men
we passed through were alive and warm.
Do you think we should go back?



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
Carolee to Beth, July 25
Beth to Carolee, August 21

  1. August 27, 2010 5:12 pm


  2. August 27, 2010 5:13 pm

    Singularly inappropriate comment. But I was grinning, and shaking my head. At how you nail things.

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