letters in a notebook (for Laurie)

so many flourishes in that signature
the heart dotting the i in her name
an internalized affectation
left over from high school
that fit a name made mostly of vowels
those round sounds so perfectly pearled together
& softer than my hissing consonants

I saved them, those letters she wrote
in the back of her notebook;
love letters promising everything,
but written in her voice

I never knew until after she died
she was so hungry for it once
she manufactured love on paper
to fill the hollowed-out center
of her chest

you can’t see that seeking shadowing the corners
of her photographs & I don’t hear it in memory,
but it was there.  it must have been;

longing that powerful should have darkened
the colors of her voice, as it curled,
sweet & thick around her tongue

but it didn’t

no wonder, when she did finally find
that man, she followed the feeling
with a focus that left him reeling in it

& impossibly empty after she left

he told me once, years later
her love still resonated in a vault
deep behind the solar plexus.  an emptiness
he did not know was there
until she filled it

I do not know, and never will
if the force of that feeling
made him write letters too

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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14 Responses to letters in a notebook (for Laurie)

  1. mimijk says:

    What an exquisite portrait…exquisite in the literal sense, for it’s beauty also hurts..

  2. Trent Lewin says:

    That is flippin gorgeous.

  3. Seb says:

    I like the way you chop and turn around the language in this

  4. doncarroll says:

    very nice capture here. that third stanza is my favorite.

  5. nelle says:

    Such a powerful tribute and accounting.

  6. she filled his emptiness – and even if he did not write it, still he felt her love!

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