On the Persistence of the Letter as a Form
Dear murderous world, dear gawking heart, I never wrote back to you, not one word wrenched itself free of my fog-draped mind to dab in ink the day's dull catalog of ruin. Take back the ten-speed bike which bent like a child's cheap toy beneath me. Accept as your own the guitar that was smashed over my brother, who writes now from jail in Savannah, who I cannot begin to answer. Here is the beloved pet who died at my feet and there, outside my window, is where my mother buried it in a coffin meant for a newborn. Upon my family, raw and vigilant, visit numbness. Of numbness I know enough. And to you I've now written too much, dear cloud of thalidomide, dear spoon trembling at the mouth, dear marble-eyed doll never answering back.
From The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World by Paul Guest. Copyright © 2003 by Paul Guest. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press. All rights reserved.
Paul Guest is the author of Because Everything Is Terrible (Diode Editions, 2018).
Date Published: 2003-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/persistence-letter-form