Postal workers deliver dangling conversations
between people of infinite patience.
I attempt to read the letter over the signature
of someone I once knew, or think I knew,
feeling my mind cool and crackle at the thought,
as if a slow flow of magma
has encysted the question I asked long ago,
and I can no longer break inside
without the inevitable shattering
into a spray of disconnected pebbles,
an archipelago of meaning that will not coalesce
into a piece of land large enough to land upon,
large enough to grasp and exclaim,
This—this is what I was attempting to recall.
So I am left island-hopping,
a hopeful pirate searching for a late-alphabet burial,
making do with the occasional glint of coin
plucked out of the sand in anticipation,
only to find a superscription long worn down
and a profile no longer familiar.