RETURN MAIL
(After Letter to Levity)

How could you have guessed that my voice is barely
“audible over the wind like a junco’s chitter?”
Funny how it’s really reduced to a little snowbird’s
Titter, and I have not heard of that rara avis junk
Since I used it as foil to lads and lasses jumping
Into dark waters wherever filth and penury mingle.

I cannot stop giggling now on my hammock by the bay,
Although I cannot abide the gauche mongers staring
at me rolling off into a soft sand splat roaring silly
Reading about Herr Khadaffi, condoms, sausages,
Feasts on strawberry lotion, virgins, and decrepit me.
But it’s good you wrote me again. I need levity.

After my last harangue about my rended haunches
and dying loins on ebbtides and stripped quarry trucks
revving the bejesus out of my long vacation by the sea,
I need to travel around this blistered place and back
and bring with me lyrics of laughter and relics of joy
and orgiastic screaming on searing summer beaches.

But all I hear now over my hammock and hoary
Body creaks are the ceaseless banshee of mourning
And dying in mudslides, drowning in mudfloods,
Crushing skulls in errant temblors, whales beaching
Themselves in sandbar graves, deaths in Tunisia,
Egypt, Libya, Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon, Myanmar.

And it is not afternoon yet. Trala-la. Haha! Trala-la
Snowflakes crackle with dry leaves. Tra-la. Ha-ha!

—ALBERT B. CASUGA
Mississauga, Ont. 2-19-11