"What cannot letters inspire? It is a dangerous
and contagious disease."—Heloise and Abelard
Poet, what made me do it on that April morning, leaning
across the railing of the ship, surrounded by souls,
my grandmother's love letters rising in a wisp of fog,
lanky suitors—one with a serious moustache, his eyes
absinthe green and pitying. One or more are frail,
pigeon-chested, no substance, not one capable
of taking liberties, I feel one stroke my wrist, he tries
to quiet my pulse. Poet, I should be afraid; they ask
me to leave this place, to join them. Theirs is a second
chance, a salty womb, bright trumpets and angels.
Unadorned tendrils of sargassum become our dreams,
how freeing to rest here. If letters are souls,
we have much to answer for. Poet, make an epistle
of yourself. Be adrift in your own music.