a letter

By Riley Henderson

It snowed
while you were gone.

Not enough
to close the roads
or freeze the day,

but enough
to where
I thought

you’d like to hear about it.

That stupid preacher
spoke today.

Not so much
that you had to
leave the room,

but to the point
where you might consider
Buddhism.

I know
you never liked him
very much,

but I thought
you’d find it funny
they invited him back...

This room
is far too empty now.

All these lamps
and unsent
letters

are only good
to a very
certain point,

and they are
certainly not
the dream

I dreamed
of you,

marveling
at familiar things

and commiserating
over terrible
pastoral
work.

It’s amazing
what a mind
can do to itself.

Not enough
to help it
on its way.

Not so much
to let it
be its own.

Just to the point
where all you know

is what you’ve
laid out
for yourself,

in ink
and lists
and premature

end-games.

And I fear
I may collapse
upon myself,

as my mind
threatens siege
upon my heart.

I can only
tinker
so much,

without a voice
in my head
that’s not mine.

My lonely thoughts
are forfeit,

as farther down
they go.

It snowed a bit
while you were gone,

and wherever you are
for however long,

I thought
you’d like to know.

Wherever you are,
for however long,

I thought
you’d like to know.


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