A package comes to me in Maine. It’s wrapped
in brown, from Texas, with a lawyer’s seal,
inside a letter. You have died.
My heart …
is as awakened from the deepest sleep …
and letters too, I haven’t seen in years,
all tied with that red cord you saved, the one
that held the top on elderberry jam
we had on English muffins … one last time.
I recognize the letters right away,
the ones I sent to you through all the years:
the pastel notecards, notebook paper lined,
an envelope you saved, pale blue and torn,
and opened fast, as if you couldn’t wait.
I couldn’t either—you the only one,
the only woman ever close to me.
For two short weeks, we talked as if we would
be together always. Then we’d slip
into each other’s arms between the sheets
and go where I had never gone before.
There’s one more note, the last from you to me,
These letters held my heart for all the years
we couldn’t hold each other. So I’ve kissed
each one, to you. Could you do this for me?
Please put them in the branches that we’d see
outside our bedroom window. Then just rest
between the sheets, and look at them, and hold
me, as you did so long ago. I’ll know.
So now I gaze at them and feel the flow
from you to me, remember words we spoke,
your gentle touches in between the sheets.
And I feel you again, and know you know.