Once I wrote a letter that lasted weeks.
Once I wrote a letter that did not end.
This is the field, or a river, a wide sky expecting rain.
This is fresh paper, without blemish, without fear.
This is the letter turned to you, to god, to myself. Signed, sealed, sent to an undeliverable address. This is me hiding.
He wrote a book of poems to his dead wife. I wondered if this was mastery or manipulation. But what poem isn't a twist of fact and wish? A rewrite of life as if facts were nails or hammers, something solid like a tool, or a fastener to truth that hangs useless until put to purpose.
Because something loosens and stirs, I keep writing, though the words make no sense, though I do not direct the message, do not even have a message. I keep the pen moving, the way my lips move in prayer, the way my mother pleads with me to keep moving, keep doing the work.
The way even now I do not know if she said those words or I wanted her to offer the kind of encouragement we could never seem to say aloud.
When nothing moves in me, my hand moves quickly across the page, with some sort of faith that life is more —and less — than now now now.
The here is the after, the after is here, on this page, in my hand, writing to you.
This is why I pray with just one word, whispered, begged, again and again: please.