Dear reader, this letter is like a house—

or is it the house that is like a letter?

Whichever it is, the mail has been delivered there
for decades. Drop the words into a rusty metal box

with a hinged flap, nailed to a wooden fence.
This is the way it is with poems, too: I voice

my salutations, compose toward a complimentary close.
Every now and then I’m seized by the urge to scour

everything from top to bottom, to gather the junk, bits
of hoarded, useless matter— and throw them into the street.

At the height of summer, I’ll even want to start
a fire in the grate, just because I know for sure

there are things that will need burning.


In response to Via Negativa: Oysters.

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