Poem with Letters to the Future

There are stories about people
who, at the edge of some extremity, 
somehow find the audacity to hail
the future— I don't mean that the hero 
turns around at precisely the moment 
the firing squad releases a volley of shots 
just to say Hey or There will be more 
books written about me than there will be 
of you.  I mean, is the future a straight 
line that intersects with the horizon or
does it know there are interesting 
little towns along the way, where
in a thrift shop one might find 
the kind of old-fashioned alcohol
stove where a folded note might be
hidden after the ashes of the fire
have cooled? I mean a poem, certainly,  
could be a kind of letter to the future. 
But I mean I don't always know 
what to say or if I should say anything
from inside what feels like a woefully 
banal moment. And should that even be
delivered into the time we hope will survive 
us, our bad habits of procrastination, our 
love for sugar, our petty materialisms? But 
I'm a sucker for fountain pens and inks 
with names like Armada or Piloncitos;
so when I read All the stars in the sky 
will be dissolved and the heavens rolled 
up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall 
like withered leaves from the vine, 
like shriveled figs from the tree, 
I can see the gleaming wash of water 
over paper: how streams of color 
find their way, how the tip of a brush 
fills in outlines of shapes that look 
as though they've always been there. 
How some moments are really envelopes,
holding the very message you need 
and that you find when it finds you.

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