The Forgetting Arts

Who knows anymore how to open an envelope? What is this sliver
of silver for, this hand-forged slice of steel in the drawer? Go to the
paper store and ask for stationery, and you’ll be shown cards of:
kittens flowers ducks birds songshine boredom cutesy.

Who knows anymore how to begin this letter? Dear whom.
Am I mistress or madame or madam? What goes in the middle
besides the weather and the questions. At the end, are you:
sincerely mine  graciously yours  in best wishes  thinking of me?

I remember stamps in rolls. Letters in scrolls. The swirls of esses.
The way the Y in you dipped low beneath the line, beckoned
with a wave. I remember the muscles of pen in my fingers, the way
they trembled. Tongue to lips, the fold and seal and stick.

Letters aren’t the only things we’ve lost. There were years I couldn’t
recall how to love. It was a lazy thing that wouldn’t come at my
whistle anymore. Just laid there and played dead. I couldn’t remember
how to open it. Or hold up the middle. Or, even when the time came,

to end it. But all month I’ve been writing letters. Cracking open
that which was sealed shut. Putting my lips to the edges of things.
Muscle memory comes back to us all. The heart is a muscle too.
Hold my hand in yours, tilt the pen just so. Let us begin. Dear.



Written quickly tonight. I’m super tired and feeling the creative drain. Some lovely letters today, and those make me happy. I am slowly working on writing everyone back.


This entry was published on February 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm and is filed under February, Fiction, Seattle, Self-Portraits. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “[39]

  1. Funny that you say you wrote it quickly, when tired, because this piece struck me as one of your most imaginative and eloquent short things yet.

  2. ancient photographer on said:

    You have reintroduced us to a treasure long-buried in the electronic maze.

  3. Pingback: [47] « This Body of Work

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: