Northeaster

Monday

Dearest,

It is snowing, grotesquely snowing, upon the small faces of the dead.

Those dear loudmouths, gone for over a year, buried side by side like little wrens.

But why should I complain?

The dead turn over casually, thinking...

Good! No visitors today. My window, which is not a graveĀ» is dark with my fierce concentration and too much snowing and too much silence. The snow has quietness in it; no songs, no smells, no shouts or traffic. When I speak my own voice shocks me.

Tuesday

I have invented a lie.

There is no other day but Monday.

It seemed reasonable to pretend that I could change the day like a pair of socks.

To tell the truth days are all the same size and words aren't much company.

If I were sick, I'd be a child, tucked in under the woolens, sipping my broth.

As it is, the days are not worth grabbing or lying about. Nevertheless, you are the only one that I can bother with this matter.

Monday

It would be pleasant to be drunk:

faithless to my tongue and hands, giving up the boundaries for the heroic gin.

Dead drunk is the term I think of, insensible, neither cool nor warm, without a head or a foot.

To be drunk is to be intimate with a fool.

I will try it shortly.

Monday

Just yesterday, twenty-eight men aboard a damaged radar tower foundered down seventy miles off the coast. Immediately their hearts slammed shut.

The storm would not cough them up. Today they are whispering over Sonar. Small voice, what do you say?

Aside from the going down, the awful wrench, the pulleys and hooks and the black tongue... What are your headquarters? Are they kind?

Monday

It must be Friday by now. I admit I have been lying. Days don't freeze and to say that the snow has quietness in it is to ignore the possibilities of the word.

Only the tree has quietness in it;

quiet as the crucifix, pounded out years ago like a handmade shoe.

Someone once told an elephant to stand still. That's why trees remain quiet all winter. They're not going anywhere.

Monday

Dearest, where are your letters?

The mailman is an impostor.

He is actually my grandfather.

He floats far off in the storm with his nicotine mustache and a bagful of nickels.

His legs stumble through baskets of eyelashes.

Like all the dead be picks up his disguise, shakes it off and slowly pulls down the shade, fading out like an old movie. Now he is gone as you are gone.

But he belongs to me like lost baggage.

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