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Open Letter to William Heyen
by Justin Evans

What do you do? Stay up all night
and write until your fingerprints are worn off,
writing through the pain,
letting yourself bleed all over the paper
until the writing ceases? How is it
you can write so many poems about two
divorced people, even if they are Princess and Prince?
Is it the coffee that keeps you awake,
that special brand you found while reading
about cocaine production in the hills of Columbia?
Or is it the fear you might leave something out,
remember something too late, the two or three
you are talking to, now dead.
No more ears to hear you with.
My guess is they would run out of patience
waiting for you to come to a halt,
and just as you pause, they go to stand
but you are off on another crusade, another war
to document even before the dead
have had time to sleep. So let us all
go back to bed, William, let us wake up
with the sunrise before you start again. At least
let us have one good night of rest before you
catch your breath and write another book.

First published: Working in the Birdhouse (FootHills Publishing)  

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