Last night I was going through old letters, cards
and contributor copies.
I found the first letter he ever wrote me,
dated October 20, 2005.
I lived in a barrio apartment with my second husband then.
I was poor and happy with so much before me.
I had no idea. All the surprises in store.
I don’t remember how he found me.
I was brand-new to the small press back then, only had
four or five publication credits.
He sent me a few broadsides, told me he looked forward
to reading more of my work.
He didn’t make much of an impression on me
but he seemed a decent enough sort.
Now all these bloated years later there are six or seven letters,
a few cds, a couple of Playboy magazines and an ink portrait
he drew of one of my countless self-photographs.
And his books. Inscribed.
And text messages I finally deleted.
There’s the YouTube he made because I asked him to.
There are the YouTubes I made that he commented on.
We were going to hang out at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
We were going to toast each other at Spec’s.
We were going to visit Tor House and the Henry Miller library.
We were going to walk around Golden Gate Park
and get drunk in a Mission bar.
I was going to win the lottery and get myself a studio apartment, decorate it with blue xmas lights, buy a record player and some vinyl, stock the fridge with beer.
The beer would be mine but I’d share with him.
That’s what I told him.
We never talked on the phone.
We typed at each other, sent each other pink hearts
and kisses and hugs and sighs.
“This song reminds me of you.”
He told me I was on his radar.
I told him I wanted to hide.
It ended the way these things always end.
I thought about burning the letters and books,
decided that would be pretty fucking idiotic.
I still have the music.
I don’t know what he’ll keep.
Everything that needed to be created between us
was expressed in that first letter.
I’m heavier now with too many clouds.
I know things I will not be able to forget.